Psionics is the study of paranormal phenomena in relation to the application of electronics. The term comes from psi ('psyche') and the -onics from electronics (machine). It is closely related to the field of radionics. There is no scientific evidence that psionic abilities exist.
Parapsychologists associated with psionics have included John Hasted and Robert G. Jahn. Their experiments were heavily criticized by the scientific community due to weak controls, methodological flaws and no independent replication.
Psionic abilities appear frequently in science fiction and provide characters with supernatural abilities. John W. Campbell, an editor of a science fiction magazine, became excited about fringe science, and 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.
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Psionic is a word invented in the 20th century as an umbrella term to describe human paranormal behavior. It refers to all powers of the mind—from the passive (telepathy or clairvoyance) to the active (telekinesis or pyrokinesis). Psionics is the study of all these powers.
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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 to conclusively demonstrate the mere existence of paranormal phenomenon, yet parapsychologists continue to pursue that elusive goal.
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