Thinking ET : A discussion of exopsychology





Faculty/Professorship: General Psychology and Methodology  
Author(s): Döbler, Niklas  ; Raab, Marius  
Title of the Journal: Acta astronautica : journal of the International Academy of Astronautics
ISSN: 0094-576
Publisher Information: Oxford : Pergamon Press
Year of publication: 2021
Volume: 189
Pages: 699-711
Language(s): English
DOI: 10.1016/j.actaastro.2021.09.032
Abstract: 
Despite lacking scientific proof, thinking about extraterrestrials and extraterrestrial intelligence is part of our
psychological reality. It is often stated that cultural and scientific reception and representation of these strange entities suffer from anthropocentric bias. To profoundly investigate such bias and the minds of extraterrestrials, we propose a revised definition for the psychological discipline called “exopsychology.” We define exopsychology as a sub-discipline of psychology, which investigates the cognition, behavior, affects, and motives of extraterrestrial agents and their human-specific representation. It is argued that the concept of intelligence is not suited for application in SETI. Thus, inherent in exopsychology is the conception of extraterrestrials as higherorder cognitive agents and as strangest strangers. We discuss the possibilities and limitations of conclusions about extraterrestrials, which leads us to hypothesize that limited statements about them might be possible, even though still influenced by anthropocentrism. We argue that it is possible to utilize anthropocentric knowledge and distinguish between admissible and inadmissible anthropocentrism. Although the first contact between extraterrestrials and humanity might never occur, scientific thinking about extraterrestrials will improve our understanding of ourselves and our place in the universe.
GND Keywords: Psychologie; SETI; Außerirdische Intelligenz
Keywords: extraterrestrial intelligence, SETI, Extraterrestrial life, Psychology, Exopsychology, Anthropocentricsm
DDC Classification: 150 Psychology  
520 Astronomy  
RVK Classification: CP 9500   
Peer Reviewed: Ja
International Distribution: Ja
Type: Article
URI: https://fis.uni-bamberg.de/handle/uniba/51827
Release Date: 29. November 2021