School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences Psychology


Dr Peter Lamont

Photograph of Dr Peter Lamont
Senior Lecturer
0131 650 3372
F34 (7GS)
Research Interests
My research is primarily on the history and psychology of magic and the paranormal, as part of the wider history and theory of Psychology, often called CHIP (Conceptual and Historical Issues in Psychology).

I studied history here at the University of Edinburgh, before completing a PhD on Victorian beliefs about spiritualism. In 1996, I joined the Koestler Parapsychology Unit (based in this department). From 2002 to 2005, I was an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Fellow, and became a lecturer in Psychology here in 2006.


I teach History and Theory of Psychology (third year), History of Unorthodox Psychology (fourth year), and contribute to the teaching of qualitative methods at undergraduate and postgraduate level. I am currently Director of Undergraduate Studies for the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences (PPLS).


If you wish to meet up, the easiest way is to e-mail me, so that we can arrange an appropriate time as soon as possible.


  1. Lamont, P. (2013) Extraordinary beliefs: a historical approach to a psychological problem (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)
  2. Lamont, P. (2010). Reflexivity, the role of history and the case of mesmerism in early Victorian Britain. History of Psychology,13(4), 393-408.
  3. Lamont, P., Henderson, J. M., & Smith, T. (2010). Where science and magic meet: the illusion of a ‘science of magic’. Review of General Psychology, 14(1), 16-21.
  4. Lamont, P. & Bates, C. (2007). Conjuring images of India in nineteenth century Britain. Social History, 32(3), 309-325.
  5. Lamont, P. (2007). Paranormal belief and the avowal of prior scepticism. Theory and Psychology, 17(5), 681-696.
  6. Lamont, P. (2004). Spiritualism and a mid-Victorian crisis of evidence. Historical Journal, 47(4), 897-920.

PPLS Undergraduate Director



I am Secretary of the British Psychological Society (History and Philosophy Section). I am a member of the Society for Psychical Research, a Fellow of the Institute for Cultural Research, an Associate of the Inner Magic Circle, and a former President (and Honorary Member) of the Edinburgh Magic Circle. I am a reviewer for several academic journals, including History of Psychology, Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences and History of the Human Sciences. I am also co-founder of the Edinburgh Secret Society (but I can't say anything about that).