Caroline Watt

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Caroline Watt lecturing at the European Skeptics Congress 2015.

Caroline Watt (born 1962) is a Scottish psychologist and professor of parapsychology.[1][2]


Watt was born in Perthshire, Scotland. She is a founding member of the University of Edinburgh's Koestler Parapsychology Unit, which she was recruited as a research assistant for in 1986, and she worked there until 2006, when she was appointed as Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Edinburgh.[1] She has also been Perrot-Warrick Senior Researcher since 2010, and in 2016 she took up the new position as second Koestler Chair of Parapsychology at the University.[3][4]

She obtained a PhD in psychology, supervised by the parapsychologist Robert L. Morris.[2]

She has coauthored the fifth edition of “An Introduction to Parapsychology,” which as of 2010 was the most frequently adopted text by those presenting academic courses on parapsychology and anomalistic psychology.[5]

Near-death studies[edit]

In 2011, Watts with the neuroscientist Dean Mobbs published a skeptical paper on the near-death experience in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences.[6]

In regards to Sam Parnia's near-death research, she stated, "The one ‘verifiable period of conscious awareness’ that Parnia was able to report did not relate to this objective test. Rather, it was a patient giving a supposedly accurate report of events during his resuscitation. He didn’t identify the pictures, he described the defibrillator machine noise. But that’s not very impressive since many people know what goes on in an emergency room setting from seeing recreations on television."[7][8]

Selected publications[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Dr. Caroline Watt". Parapsychological Association. 
  2. ^ a b "Biography for Caroline Watt". Koestler Parapsychology Unit.
  3. ^ "Becoming Edinburgh's second Koestler Chair of Parapsychology". Koestler Parapsychology Unit. 
  4. ^ "Koestler Chair of Parapsychology". University of Edinburgh. 
  5. ^ Sturgess, Kylie (March 2010). "A Skeptic Gets Schooled: An Introduction to Parapsychology". Skeptical Briefs. Vol. 20 no. 1. 
  6. ^ Choi, Charles Q. (12 September 2011). "Near-Death Experiences Explained by Science". Live Science. Retrieved 16 February 2017. 
  7. ^ Hill, Sharon (7 October 2014). "One not too impressive study does not prove life after death". Doubtful News. 
  8. ^ Hill, Sharon (8 October 2014). "No, this study is not evidence for "life after death"". James Randi Educational Foundation. 

External links[edit]