Stanley Krippner

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Stanley Krippner
Krippner at his dream laboratory in 1969
BornOctober 4, 1932
  • Psychologist
  • parapsychologist
  • writer

Stanley Krippner (born October 4, 1932)[1] is an American psychologist and parapsychologist. He received a B.S. degree from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1954 and M.A. (1957) and Ph.D. (1961) degrees from Northwestern University.[2]

From 1972 to 2019, he was an executive faculty member and the Alan Watts Professor of Psychology at Saybrook University in Oakland, California.[3][4] Formerly, Krippner was director of the Kent State University Child Study Center (1961-1964) and director of the Maimonides Medical Center Dream Research Laboratory (of Brooklyn, New York; 1964-1972).[3]


Krippner has written extensively on altered states of consciousness, dream telepathy, hypnosis, shamanism, dissociation, and parapsychological subjects.[3][4][5] Krippner was an early leader in Division 32 of the American Psychological Association (APA), the division concerned with humanistic psychology, serving as President of the division from 1980–1981.[6] He also served as president of division 30, the Society for Psychological Hypnosis, and is a Fellow of four APA divisions. Krippner has conducted experiments with Montague Ullman into dream telepathy at the Maimonides Medical Center.[3] In 2002, Krippner won the APA Award for Distinguished Contributions to the International Advancement of Psychology.[4][7]


Dream telepathy[edit]

In 1993, Krippner published the results of a number of dream telepathy experiments he conducted along with other researchers at Maimonides Medical Center. The experiments have not been independently replicated.[8][9][10][11][12] In a review of the research published in American Psychologist,[13] professor Irwin Child, former head of the Department of Psychology at Yale University, concluded that 'the tendency toward hits rather than misses cannot reasonably be ascribed to chance'. But this favorable commentary has been criticized by a number of reviews and respondents, who argued that Krippner's work like most parapsychology severely lacked in rigor and instituting proper controls against bias.[10][14][15]

In 1985, psychologist C. E. M. Hansel criticized the picture target experiments that were conducted by Krippner and Ullman. According to Hansel, there were weaknesses in the design of the experiments in the way in which the agent became aware of their target picture. Only the agent should have known the target and no other person until the judging of targets had been completed, however, an experimenter was with the agent when the target envelope was opened. Hansel also wrote there had been poor controls in the experiment as the main experimenter could communicate with the subject.[16] In 2002, Krippner denied Hansel's accusations claiming the agent did not communicate with the experimenter.[17]

An attempt to replicate the experiments that used picture targets was carried out by Edward Belvedere and David Foulkes. The finding was that neither the subject nor the judges matched the targets with dreams above chance level.[18] Results from other experiments by Belvedere and Foulkes were also negative.[19]

In 2003, Simon Sherwood and Chris Roe wrote a review that claimed support for dream telepathy at Maimonides.[20] However, James Alcock noted that their review was based on "extreme messiness" of data. Alcock concluded the dream telepathy experiments at Maimonides have failed to provide evidence for telepathy and "lack of replication is rampant."[21]


Krippner has drawn criticism for endorsing the feats of a Russian psychic Nina Kulagina. Science writer Martin Gardner found it surprising that Krippner took interest in Kulagina despite knowing that she was a "charlatan" who was caught on two occasions using tricks to move objects.[22] Krippner took issue with this statement believing it to be an attack on himself and wrote there was "no suggestion of trickery."[23] However, psychologists Jerome Kravitz and Walter Hillabrant have noted that she was "caught cheating more than once by Soviet Establishment scientists."[24] Gardner later commenting on Kulagina stated that she utilized invisible threads to move objects.[25]

Krippner has contributed to and co-edited Future Science: Life Energies and the Physics of Paranormal Phenomena (1977). It included an essay from the parapsychologist Julius Weinberger, who claimed to have communicated with the dead by using a Venus flytrap as the medium. Philosopher Paul Kurtz criticized the book for endorsing pseudoscience.[26]

Magician and noted skeptic Henry Gordon has written:

A reading of Krippner's book, Human Possibilities, published by Doubleday, convinced me that there is a man sincere in his beliefs in the paranormal and bending over backward to be fair and open minded but incredibly naive. In his book he endorses the feats of several psychics who have already been exposed as frauds.[27]

Krippner co-edited and contributed to Debating Psychic Experience (2010). He also co-edited and contributed to Varieties of Anomalous Experience (2013) which has received positive reviews.[28][29]


  1. ^ "Stanley Krippner, Papers, 1953–1980". Kent State University. 7 February 2003. Retrieved 15 October 2009.
  2. ^ "- vitae".
  3. ^ a b c d Melton, J. G. (1996). Stanley Krippner. In Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology. Gale Research. ISBN 978-0-8103-9487-2.
  4. ^ a b c No Authorship Indicated (November 2002). "Stanley C. Krippner: Award for Distinguished Contributions to the International Advancement of Psychology". The American Psychologist. 57 (11). American Psychological Association: 960–62. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.57.11.960. PMID 12564208.
  5. ^ "Saybrook: Faculty". Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center. Retrieved 15 October 2009.
  6. ^ Aanstoos, C.; Serlin, I.; Greening, Thomas (2000). "History of Division 32 (Humanistic Psychology) of the American Psychological Association". In Dewsbury, Donald A. (ed.). Unification through Division: Histories of the divisions of the American Psychological Association, Vol. V (PDF). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
  7. ^ APA webpage. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  8. ^ Wiseman, Richard. (2014). Night School: Wake Up to the Power of Sleep. Macmillan. p. 202. ISBN 978-1-4472-4840-8 Wiseman writes regarding Krippner and Ullman's experiments "Over the years, many researchers have failed to replicate their remarkable findings and, as a result, the work is seen as curious but not proof of the paranormal."
  9. ^ Parker, Adrian. (1975). States of Mind: ESP and Altered States of Consciousness. Taplinger. p. 90. ISBN 0-8008-7374-2
  10. ^ a b Clemmer, Edward J. (1986). "Not so anomalous observations question ESP in dreams". American Psychologist. 41 (10): 1173–1174. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.41.10.1173.b.
  11. ^ Hyman, Ray. (1986). Maimonides dream-telepathy experiments. Skeptical Inquirer 11: 91–92.
  12. ^ Neher, Andrew. (2011). Paranormal and Transcendental Experience: A Psychological Examination. Dover Publications. p. 145. ISBN 0-486-26167-0
  13. ^ Child, Irvin L. (1985). "Psychology and anomalous observations: The question of ESP in dreams". American Psychologist. 40 (11): 1219–1230. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.40.11.1219.
  14. ^ Rao, K. Ramakrishna; Palmer, John (December 1987). "The anomaly called psi: Recent research and criticism". Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 10 (4): 539. doi:10.1017/S0140525X00054455. S2CID 143520389.
  15. ^ Alcock, James E. (December 1987). "Parapsychology: Science of the anomalous or search for the soul?". Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 10 (4): 553. doi:10.1017/S0140525X00054467.
  16. ^ Hansel, C. E. M. (1985). The Search for a Demonstration of ESP. In Paul Kurtz. A Skeptic's Handbook of Parapsychology. Prometheus Books. pp. 97–127. ISBN 0-87975-300-5
  17. ^ Ramakrishna Rao, K, Gowri Rammohan, V. (2002). New Frontiers of Human Science: A Festschrift for K. Ramakrishna Rao. McFarland. p. 135. ISBN 0-7864-1453-7
  18. ^ Belvedere, E., Foulkes, D. (1971). Telepathy and Dreams: A Failure to Replicate. Perceptual and Motor Skills 33: 783–789.
  19. ^ Hansel, C. E. M. (1989). The Search for Psychic Power: ESP and Parapsychology Revisited. Prometheus Books. pp. 141–152. ISBN 0-87975-516-4
  20. ^ Sherwood, Simon; Roe, C.A. (1 January 2003). "A Review of Dream ESP Studies Conducted Since the Maimonides Dream ESP Programme". Journal of Consciousness Studies. 10 (6–7): 85–109.
  21. ^ Alcock, James. (2003). Give the Null Hypothesis a Chance: Reasons to Remain Doubtful about the Existence of Psi. Journal of Consciousness Studies 10: 29–50. "In their article, Sherwood and Roe examine attempts to replicate the well-known Maimonides dream studies that began in the 1960s. They provide a good review of these studies of dream telepathy and clairvoyance, but if one thing emerges for me from their review, it is the extreme messiness of the data adduced. Lack of replication is rampant. While one would normally expect that continuing scientific scrutiny of a phenomenon should lead to stronger effect sizes as one learns more about the subject matter and refines the methodology, this is apparently not the case with this research."
  22. ^ Gardner, Martin. (1983). Science: Good, Bad and Bogus. Oxford University Press. p. 244. ISBN 0-19-286037-2
  23. ^ Krippner, Stanley. (1980). Human Possibilities: Mind Exploration in the U. S. S. R. and Eastern Europe. Anchor Press/Doubleday. p. 33
  24. ^ Kravitz, Jerome; Hillabrant, Walter. (1977). The Future is Now: Readings in Introductory Psychology. F. E. Peacock Publishers. p. 301
  25. ^ Gardner, Martin. (1986). Magicians in the Psi Lab: Many Misconceptions. In Kendrick Frazier. Science Confronts the Paranormal. Prometheus Books. pp. 170–175. ISBN 978-1-61592-619-0
  26. ^ Kurtz, Paul. (1978). Review of Future Science: Life Energies and the Physics of Paranormal Phenomena. Skeptical Inquirer 2: 90–94.
  27. ^ Henry Gordon. (1988). Extrasensory Deception : ESP, Psychics, Shirley MacLaine, Ghosts, UFOs. Macmillan of Canada. p. 27
  28. ^ Rich, Grant Jewell (March 2001). "Varieties of Anomalous Experience: Examining the Scientific Evidence: Varieties of Anomalous Experience: Examining the Scientific Evidence". American Anthropologist. 103 (1): 266–267. doi:10.1525/aa.2001.103.1.266.
  29. ^ MacHovec, Frank. (2002). Varieties of Anomalous Experience: Examining the Scientific Evidence (Review). Cultic Studies Review. Vol. 1, No. 2.

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