Telepathy (from the Greek τῆλε, tele meaning "distant" and πάθος/-πάθεια, pathos or -patheia meaning "feeling, perception, passion, affliction, experience") is the purported vicarious transmission of information from one person to another without using any known human sensory channels or physical interaction. The term was first coined in 1882 by the classical scholar Frederic W. H. Myers, a founder of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR), and has remained more popular than the earlier expression thought-transference.
Telepathy experiments have historically been criticized for lack of proper controls and repeatability. There is no convincing evidence that telepathy exists, and the topic is generally considered by the scientific community to be pseudoscience.
According to historians such as Roger Luckhurst and Janet Oppenheim the origin of the concept of telepathy in Western civilization can be tracked to the late 19th century and the formation of the Society for Psychical Research. As the physical sciences made significant advances, scientific concepts were applied to mental phenomena (e.g., animal magnetism), with the hope that this would help to understand paranormal phenomena. The modern concept of telepathy emerged in this context.
Psychical researcher Eric Dingwall criticized SPR founding members Frederic W. H. Myers and William F. Barrett for trying to "prove" telepathy rather than objectively analyze whether or not it existed.