John W. Campbell, an editor of a science fiction magazine, became enthused about fringe science, and according to the The Routledge Companion to Science Fiction, he went on to define psionics as "Engineering applied to the mind". His encouragement of psionics led author Murray Leinster and others to write stories such as The Psionic Mousetrap.
The term comes from psi (‘psyche’) and the -onics from electronics (machine), which implied that the paranormal powers of the mind could be made to work reliably.
^Cordón, Luis A. (2005). Popular Psychology: an Encyclopedia. Wesport (Conn.): Greenwood. p. 182. ISBN0-313-32457-3. "The essential problem is that a large portion of the scientific community, including most research psychologists, regards parapsychology as a pseudoscience, due largely to its failure to move beyond null results in the way science usually does. Ordinarily, when experimental evidence fails repeatedly to support a hypothesis, that hypothesis is abandoned. Within parapsychology, however, more than a century of experimentation has failed even to conclusively demonstrate the mere existence of paranormal phenomenon, yet parapsychologists continue to pursue that elusive goal."
^ abWestfahl, Gary (2005). The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Westport, Conn. [u.a.]: Greenwood Press. ISBN0313329508.
^Bould, Mark (2011). The Routledge Companion to Science Fiction (Paperback ed.). London: Routledge. p. 410. ISBN0415453798.