James Alcock is Professor of Psychology at York University, where he has been on faculty since 1973, and is a former Director of the Graduate Programme in Psychology. He obtained a BSc (Honours Physics) from McGill University, and a PhD in Social Psychology from McMaster University, and he subsequently underwent post-doctoral training in Clinical Psychology. He has been a Registered Psychologist since 1974, and has served on the Ontario Board of Examiners in Psychology, the Board of the Canadian Registry of Health Service Providers in Psychology, and the Joint Designation Committee of the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards/National Register. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association and a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians,
He has a longstanding interest in both the application of science to psychology and the psychology of belief, particularly those beliefs involving anomalous experience. He is the author of Parapsychology: Science or magic? (1981); Science and supernature (1990); and co-author of A textbook of social psychology ( now in its fifth edition); co-editor of Psi Wars (2003); and author of nine book chapters and numerous articles and papers, most of which deal with the psychology of belief, and critical examinations of anomalous claims, including those made in the area of alternative medicine.
He is a Fellow and Member of Executive Council, Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP); a member of the Editorial Board, The Skeptical Inquirer; a member of the Advisory Board, American Council on Science and Health; a member of the Council for Scientific Medicine; a member of the Editorial Board of The Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine, and a member of the Council for Scientific Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry.