The term proposed by Charles Richet in 1905 (when he was elected president of the Society for Psychical Research, London) for phenomena and experiments in psychical research. In his inaugural address he defined metapsychics as "a science dealing with mechanical or psychological phenomena due to forces which seem to be intelligent, or to unknown powers, latent in human intelligence." He divided it into objective and subjective metapsychics, the first dealing with material, external facts; the second with psychic, internal, nonmaterial facts.
The term was not generally accepted on the Continent. In Germany, the word "parapsychic" was suggested instead, proposed by Emile Boirac. Richet's colleague Theodore Flournoy preferred "parapsychics," suggesting that Richet's term should be limited to phenomena definitely proved to be supernormal in character. All three terms have been supplanted by "para-psychology."