How is factuality constructed within first-hand accounts of precognition
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Abstract: This paper aims to explore how paranormal accounts in particular those involving precognition construct factuality through the use of social actions in discourse. It argues that accounts of paranormal phenomena places a great emphasis on convincing the recipient of the account that their claims are factual and don’t plainly just describe the experience. In order to develop this argument, we analysed a series of first-hand accounts of precognition published on the psychic-experiences website. The paranormal accounts posted were by the general public from mainly the United States of America as well as the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada. Applying a method of discourse analysis, we show social actions performed through language constructs factuality within accounts. Examining how accounts of paranormal experience use several different techniques to construct factuality. As well as scrutinize how they maintain the factual status in their accounts by dealing with possible accusations of stake and interest. We found that the social actions of creating corroboration, vivid description, category entitlement and normalisation as well the use of stake inoculation are the most commonly used methods of constructing factuality within accounts. Therefore given a thorough analysis of the different techniques adopted when constructing factuality. Building on previous work in discursive psychology and parapsychology we have played a role in the further development of the research on discourse analysis and more specifically fact construction. As well as contributing to the continued drive for accounts of paranormal experience to be seen as accessible for research. Thus offering an alternative analytic focus to the research conventionally pursued in Parapsychological studies of spontaneous experience.