Psionics is a blanket term used to describe alleged psychic effects such as telepathy, psychokinesis, pyrokinesis and others. Parapsychology, a pseudoscience that began around 1889, aims to study psionics and other supernatural claims. There is no scientific evidence that psionic abilities exist.
John W. Campbell, an editor of a science fiction magazine, became enthused about fringe science, and according to The Routledge Companion to Science Fiction, he went on to define psionics as "Engineering applied to the mind". His encouragement of psionics led author Murray Leinster and others to write stories such as The Psionic Mousetrap.
The term comes from psi ('psyche') and the -onics from electronics (machine), which implied that the paranormal powers of the mind could be made to work reliably.
Psionic abilities appear frequently in science fiction and provide characters with abilities not found in nature.