Research Practitioner

Migrated from the Collective
(Draft)

This practice has been moved from the ATransC Collective. The Collective was intended as a community effort to develop Best Practices. After years of failing to attract help from the paranormalist community, it seems reasonable to give up and unilaterally compose these practices.

These practices are recommendations provided under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License

Sponsor(s)

Tom Butler

Abstract

To conduct research, it is necessary to have a reliable way to collect transcommunication examples. This practice is concerned with qualifying and grading practitioners in a standardized way that lends itself to statistical studies.

Justification/Introduction

Etheric Studies includes the study of both spontaneous and induced forms of trans-etheric influences. Both involve a conceptual influence from the etheric which produces a physical effect. While it is believed that everyone has mediumistic ability, as with many human endeavors, some people are naturally better than others.

To study these phenomena, it is necessary to have a reliable means with which to test hypotheses. This usually includes the need for a method of producing the phenomena such as a mental or physical medium or an ITC practitioner. However, it has been a common practice amongst researchers to use students as “practitioners” for studies without regard to their actual ability.[1]

A brief survey of the Internet will show that hundreds of people are offering their services as mental mediums, yet people who sit for a medium’s service commonly complain about the quality and veracity of the messages. Some organizations have established a methodology for testing mediums and maintains a list of what they consider qualified and reliable mental mediums.

There are currently (1-27-2013) no such means of testing ITC practitioners, and consequently, there is no reliable source of practitioners researchers can enlist. To alleviate this problem, this practice offers a workable means for practitioners to self-test and qualify themselves as a research practitioner.

Practice

This practice provides a means of avoiding the need to avoid the need to have a central screening. Instead, practitioners are expected to arrange for self testing. Based on the results, it is recommended that practitioners wishing to serve the public and/or research publish their status as part of their bio. However, an important consideration is that the practitioner should also have self-test results available for review.

Mental Mediumship

This section will be based on the methodology used by an existing organization.

Audible ITC (EVP)

There are a number of different techniques for EVP formation. The primary ones are:

  • Transform EVP:voices formed by changing background audio-frequency noise
  • Opportunistic EVP:voices formed by impressing a random process to select bits of sound–usually fragments of voice–to form the intended message.
  • Answering Machine EVP:Usually spontaneous messages left on answering devices or in voice mail.

All three of these may be spontaneous but transform and opportunistic EVP are most often induced.

  • The person initiating the communication is referred to as the practitioner.
  • The person for whom the message was requested, if applicable, is known as the sitter.
  • The person listening to an example of EVP is referred to as a listener.

Practitioner Confidence

While EVP practitioners may be able to record EVP, how often and of what quality determines practitioner confidence. Here, “confidence” is used as a reference of how confident the person is that an EVP will be found in any one recording and of what quality.

Quality and Quantity

The quality of EVP is described using the Class A, B and C system in which:

  • Class A examples should be correctly heard and understood by the average person without headphones and without prompting
  • Class B examples should be correctly heard and understood, perhaps depending on headphones and possibly with prompting
  • Class C examples will likely require prompting, headphones and considerable experience to be understood.

Loud is not Class A. An example may consist of a combination of the three, but to be Class A, the meaning should be clear base don the Class A portions.

The quantity of examples is based on the number of examples per minute of recording. (This is a relatively new measure, and it is important to understand the following is a draft proposal for a quantitative measure.)

Based on a three minute recording:

  • Level 1 practitioners can expect to record at least one Class A or B EVP example every session
  • Level 2 practitioners can expect to record at least one Class A or B EVP example every five sessions
  • Level 3 practitioners can expect to record at least one Class A or B EVP example every ten sessions

Procedure

This is a self-test. The practitioner is responsible for organizing and executing the test, and maintaining a record available for third-party review on request. Assuming the practitioner is able to achieve a level of confidence that one or more EVP will be recorded in a series of sessions, the practitioner should feel free to post this fact to the public. Self-test

  1. A practitioners wishing to establish a rating for research should begin by selecting a recording technique with which they are most confident that they can record EVP. This includes recording device, background sounds, mental preparation and kinds of questions if any. A record of this should be made including kind of recorder or computer program and the nature of supplied sound if any. If an input file is used, it should be clearly documented so that it can be reviewed by others if necessary. If a sound fragment or word library is used, its content should be clearly recorded for future reference.
  2. A listening panel should be recruited, consisting of at least five people with at least average hearing.
  3. A log should be maintained.
  4. a series of recording sessions should be conducted; all of the same length and made under the same circumstance. It is recommended that at least ten, three minute sessions be made.
  5. If EVP are present in one or more of the sessions, the utterance should be extracted to a new audio file. The content of the file should not be included in the title.
  6. The listening panel should be asked to review each example knowing only that an EVP is thought to be contained in the file. Listeners should independently listen to the examples and document what they think is said.
  7. The resulting record should be compiled by a member of the listening panel and presented to the practitioner.

There are no limits to how many times this test may be conducted. In fact, the self-test may prove to be an effective learning tool as a means of self-grading to mark progress.

This is based on the honor system, but it should be clear that researchers may ask for the self-test record and will expect practitioner performance to agree with advertised ability.

Example Application

This is important to give the reader an idea about how the practice applies. The example should show the potential problem of not following the practice.

Substantiating Material

Provide references supporting the practice if appropriate. Include substantiating evidence not identified by the references. Also when appropriate, include all statements indicating a recommended procedure should be supported by one or more of the following:

  • Logical conclusions based on accepted social behavior, ethical standards and successful practices.
  • Personal experience which is supported by at least three witnesses. (Their contact information should be available but not in the document).
  • Research that has been published in a regularly published publication or on the Internet, and that includes at a minimum, an explanation of the experimental protocol, results, involved researchers, date of research and original purpose for the research.

References

Be sure to include the <references /> that should be in the template. Also include any additional categories.

  1. Butler, Tom. Critiquing ITC Articles written by Imants Barušs, http://ethericstudies.org/viewpoint/failure_to_replicate.htm Reviewed 1/27/2013