Parapsychology is the scientific study of paranormal and psychical phenomena that transcends the physical laws of nature and remain inexplicable to naturalist and positivist science. It forms a component of the broader study of consciousness and the mind. Parapsychologists study five broad areas: telepathy; clairvoyance; precognition; mind-matter interaction (psychokinesis); and survival.
The term ‘parapsychology’ was coined in the late 1880s by German psychologist Max Dessoir. American botanist Joseph Banks Rhine popularised the term in English, and he was one of first to engage in large-scale, serious scientific research in parapsychology. Today, parapsychology is marginalised and identified as a pseudoscience by mainstream scientists, including orthodox scientific psychology.