They went about their business as we did ours. Children saw them clearly, and might ask who "that man" was. I saw them clearly. I also dreamt of things that had happened there before, and one of my sons did the same. Our dreams matched up.
Later, I saw a different type of vision there, no threat to me or mine but a warning of a bad thing that was to happen (and did). No need for details. I have very many more experiences throughout my life and many more now.Using the Internet to Collect Paranormal Data (extract)
The purpose of this chapter is to review the literature on using the World Wide Web (WWW) to collect research data. While this mode of data collection is gaining acceptance within parts of academia, misconceptions and some unresolved issues concerning the method remain. In the first part of the chapter an overview of the development of the Internet is presented. This provides the background for the decision to use the WWW to gather data in the current study. In the subsequent sections the literature on the strengths and weaknesses associated with this mode of data collection are outlined.
2.2 Historical Perspective
The origins of the Internet can be traced back to the 1960s, when the United States Department of Defence constructed a network of university and military computers to assist with the defence effort. In the first instance only four computers were linked but from this initiative the email function was launched.
During the seventies, computers located in other countries joined this network but because of the cumbersome nature of the programming process the initial connections were awkward and unreliable. However, slowly, new computer networks were developed and, in the early eighties, the Internet as we know it came into existence (World Book, 2004). By 1984 two million computers and the world that had once been only the domain of academics, scientists and large corporations became accessible to millions of people.
The next significant leap in the development of the web occurred between 1989 and 1992. British computer scientist, Tim Berners-Lee, while working at CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research), developed a new, easier and more accessible computer language called hypertext mark-up language (HTML). Shortly afterwards, in 1993, the first browser (Mosaic) was released and with it came the ability to present pictures, words, and sounds on webpages.
Of particular relevance to the current study, in 1994 HTML 2.0 was launched, thereby giving the readers of web documents the ability to communicate with the Internet servers through input or fill-out forms (Reips, 2001).
By 1996 several WWW studies had been posted online (Weigend, 1994; Welch & Krantz, 1996) but the take up rate for this new research method was very slow. Today, the rate at which online studies are posted on the Internet is both high and growing exponentially (Birnbaum, 2004).
The Internet is the fastest growing element of electronic technology in history. It took only seven years for the Internet to reach 30% of America's households (Lebo, 2000), and according to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU, a United Nations specialized agency for telecommunications), by 2004 one in every two residents of the G8 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom, and United States of America) used the Internet regularly.
While it remains impossible to accurately quantify Internet penetration, the ITU estimates that a similar number of people (between 429 million and 444 million) living in non G8 countries were also accessing the internet in 2004. Such numbers are impressive but as the literature reminds us, the digital divide remains. It is evident in Africa where approximately 3% of the population have access to the internet; in Central and South America, internet penetration into the 42 constituent countries is estimated to be only half that of the United States; in the Asia-Pacific region, estimates of internet usage vary from 1% of the population in Bangladesh, Cambodia and Laos to over 65% in Australia and Republic of Korea (ITU, 2004).
According to a later report (ITU, 2006), by early 2008 an estimated 5.2 billion people were not using the Internet. Thus, while the nternet is internationally accessible, it is still unavailable to many people and, as a consequence, web based samples cannot be regarded as representative of the World's population.
According to Sears (1986), prior to the Internet revolution there were two distinct periods of social research. The first phase covered the 1940s and 1950s and social research involved a wide cross-section of adults, who were predominately interviewed in personal settings that were familiar to them. The second wave of social research began in the early sixties and was overwhelmingly "based on college students tested in academic laboratories on academic like tasks" (Sears, 1986, p.515). Indeed, in Smart (1966) a review of the previous studies published in two psychology journals shows that over three quarters of those investigations used college students, the majority of whom were males enrolled in introductory psychology classes.
Since the Internet revolution of the 1990s, student-based social research has been supplemented by the broader based web studies. This latter method offers better opportunities to recruit large, and diverse or specialised population samples and, as is noted in Kraut, et al. (2004), the internet has "democratised" data collection, with academic researchers no longer needing to coerce undergraduate students into contributing data (p.106).
The earlier proliferation and domination of student-based research lead Krantz and Dalal (2000) to declare that "the overwhelming majority of traditional psychology studies make no effort whatsoever to ensure that the samples used are randomly selected" (p.48). While this practice of sampling students remains widespread it has not gone unchallenged. Nearly forty years ago Converse (1970) observes, "the absence of research on the general population in natural situations can leave the experimental social psychologist ignorant of the actual mainstream". Indeed, according to Sears (1986), change is not forthcoming because "the consensus of the field certainly appears to be that such a heavy reliance on college student subjects does not have major negative consequences" (p.519).
Furthermore, he asserts that researchers who use student samples either mistakenly overlook the rest of the population or assume that the phenomena under investigation "are so ubiquitous and universal that it does not matter much what subjects are used" (p.519). In pursuing this line of enquiry, Sears considers what is the typical developmental profile of a student group, and suggest that a study based on such a sample reflects those who "have incompletely formulated senses of self, rather uncrystallized socio-political attitudes, unusually strong cognitive skills, strong needs for peer approval, tendencies to be compliant to authority, quite unstable group relationships, little material self-interest in public affairs, and unusual egocentricity" (p.527).
While the first major shift to use the Internet for data collection began in the mid-nineties, prior to this concerns were voiced about the appropriateness of utilizing the WWW for such purposes (Kiesler & Sproull, 1986). The arguments for and against using the Internet for research are well documented and, as with all modes of data collection, there are identifiable strengths and weaknesses, and some of the latter cannot be overcome easily (Reips, 2002).
There are minimal risks and great opportunities inherent in using the Internet for research purposes and…
Click on the above link and enter the password – paranormal – to read the remainder of this part of my dissertation.
About The Author
Rosemary Breen is an author, appreneur, Internet marketer, and founder of two websites.
The first website isPsychicRevolution.com
This site is a natural extension of Rosemary's academic research into paranormal phenomena.
The second website isCompatibilityAndLove.com
In this website, Rosemary explores love, life and relationships from most angles, including zodiac compatibility.
Rosemary lives in Australia with her husband, two children and their Border Collie.Books by the Author
HOROSCOPE COMPATIBILITY FOR ALL THE ZODIAC SIGNS
ARIES: Horoscope Compatibility
TAURUS: Horoscope Compatibility
GEMINI: Horoscope Compatibility
CANCER: Horoscope Compatibility
LEO: Horoscope Compatibility
VIRGO: Horoscope Compatibility
LIBRA: Horoscope Compatibility
SCORPIO: Horoscope Compatibility
SAGITTARIUS: Horoscope Compatibility
CAPRICORN: Horoscope Compatibility
AQUARIUS: Horoscope Compatibility
PISCES: Horoscope Compatibility
YOUR PERSONAL HOROSCOPE PREDICTIONS
TRUE GHOST STORIES Vol. 1 (The Supernatural Book Series)
TRUE GHOST STORIES Vol. 2 (The Supernatural Book Series)
TRUE GHOST STORIES Vol. 3 (The Supernatural Book Series)
Thank you for reading this book and allowing me to share with you some of the experiences and insights that people, perhaps just like yourself, have encountered as they go about their everyday life. Proceeds from the sale of this series of books are used to maintain the online paranormal survey.
As you can see from the accounts you have just read, the paranormal doesn’t just exist in old cemeteries, abandoned apartments and medieval churches (though, these do make excellent backdrops for scary tales). For many people, the paranormal has become a way of life for them. Some have lives that are enriched by ghosts, poltergeist activity and other types of paranormal phenomena and they genuinely embrace their experiences. Others are literally haunted by experiences that they alone encounter and, for them life seems to be much harder.
Thus, good or bad, real or imagined the paranormal is a way of life for many. And, what about you?
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