Robert H. Thouless

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Robert Henry Thouless (July 15, 1894 – September 25, 1984) was a British psychologist and parapsychologist. He is best known as the author of Straight and Crooked Thinking (1930, 1953), which describes flaws in reasoning and argument.[1]

He studied at Cambridge University where he earned B.A. hons in 1914, an M.A. in 1919 and a Ph.D. in 1922. He was a lecturer in psychology at the universities of Manchester, Glasgow and a Fellow of Corpus Christi College in the University of Cambridge. He wrote on parapsychology and conducted experiments in card-calling and psychokinesis.[2] His own experiments did not confirm the results of J. B. Rhine and he criticised the experimental protocols of previous experimenters.[3]

He is credited with introducing the word psi as a term for parapsychological phenomena in a 1942 article in the British Journal of Psychology.[4] He served as President of the Society for Psychical Research from 1942 to 1944.


  • An Introduction to the Psychology of Religion (1923)
  • The Lady Julian: A Psychological Study (1924)
  • Social Psychology: A Text Book for Students of Economics (1925)
  • Experimental Physical Research (1963)
  • Mind and Consciousness in Experimental Psychology (1963)
  • Rationality and Prejudice (1964)
  • Straight and Crooked Thinking (1968)
  • From Anecdote to Experiment in Psychical Research (1972)


  1. ^ Thouless, Robert H. (1953), Straight and Crooked Thinking (PDF), London: Pan Books, retrieved 30 November 2010 
  2. ^ Gale Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology: Robert Henry Thouless
  3. ^ James Randi. (1997). Robert Henry Thouless in An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural. St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-15119-5
  4. ^ Thouless, Robert H. (1942:July), "Experiments on paranormal guessing", British Journal of Psychology, British Psychological Society, 33 (1): 15–27, doi:10.1111/j.2044-8295.1942.tb01036.x  Check date values in: |date= (help)

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