October 21, 2013

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By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. Parapsychologist Rich Robbins will give the talk, "Ghosts and Hauntings: Decide for Yourself," Tuesday, Oct. 29, at 7 p.m. in Trout Auditorium of the Vaughan Literature Building at Bucknell University.

The talk, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Office of Campus Activities and Programs.

An associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences at Bucknell, Robbins will introduce classical and scientific theories of what ghosts and other related phenomena are, offer a discussion of evidence for and against the existence of ghosts (including alleged ghost photos and examples of electronic voice phenomena), and provide a critical look at ghost hunting.

"Almost everyone has had an experience or knows someone who has experienced an event attributed to a ghost or haunting," said Robbins, a certified parapsychologist who has participated in several ghost hunts, consulted on books about hauntings, and been interviewed by the media regarding ghosts and hauntings.

"This interdisciplinary presentation, which will include perspectives from psychology, human physiology, folklore, religion, sociology, philosophy and parapsychology, will examine several questions, including 'Are ghosts real?' 'What is the difference between a ghost and a haunting?' 'What is the evidence that ghosts exist?' 'What natural phenomena could explain such events?' My role is to provide the information and educate those in attendance, who can then make up their own minds about ghosts and hauntings."

The recipient of a bachelor's degree in psychology from Bloomsburg University, Robbins holds a master's degree in experimental psychology from West Chester University and a doctorate in social psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno. He says, "My empirical research training and experience along with my knowledge of human psychophysiology and psychology allow me to bring an academic take on what is known as the 'paranormal.'"

Robbins was a full-time psychology/behavioral sciences faculty member for four years before moving into higher education administration and adjunct teaching for the past 16 years.

He has developed programs at two separate higher education institutions and headed programs at four institutions, recognized by international, national, state and campus awards. He has served as chair and faculty member at numerous higher education professional institutes and workshops and has more than 150 professional presentations at higher education conferences and numerous publications in higher education journals and books.

Robbins also has served as an editor for a peer-reviewed professional journal, as a manuscript reviewer for another journal, as a professional reviewer for textbooks in various areas of psychology, and as an international consultant in the areas of student development and academic advising in higher education.