Anomalistic Psychology (Part 6)

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  • Created on: 09-06-14 22:09
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  • Anomalistic Psychology (6)
    • Out of Body Experiences (OBE)
      • Paranormal explanation
        • Suggests something beyond our current understanding is happening
        • Only possible way to explain how you can physically leave your body is by separating mind and body
        • Alvarado's review did not find evidence that the parasomatic body had physically moved out of the physical body
        • Exceptional cases could be explained by suspect methodology - participant might have seen object prior to test
      • Biological explanation
        • Blackmore (1982)
          • Suggests we normally view the world as if we were behind our eyes
          • When sensory input breaks down, brain tries to reconstruct what we're seeing using memory and imagination
          • Memory images are often birds eye views so the constructed image usually appears to be viewing oneself from above
        • Ehrsson
          • Provided support for link between sensory disturbance and OBE's
        • Suggests OBE's are linked to sensory disturbance
      • Naturally-occurring OBE's
        • Green (1968)
          • Studied 400 personal accounts of OBE's and classed them as parasomatic (20%) or asomatic (no sense of another body)
          • 25% of cases were associated with psychological stress; 12% occurred during sleep
        • Difficult to study natural OBE's as they are unpredictable
      • Artificially induced OBE's
        • Alvardo (1982)
          • Reviewed lab studies of induced OBEs
          • P's asked to identify target objects out of sight of their physical body
          • Miss Z read a 5-digit number from another room
        • Most research is in labs
      • Biological Studies
        • Blanke et al. (2002)
          • Induced OBE's accidentally by electrically stimulating the TPJ in an epileptic woman
          • Led them to study neurologically normal subjects as well
          • Stimulation of TPJ using transcranial magnetic stimulation cause OBE's where as stimulation of other areas didn't
      • Individual differences
        • OBE's reported more often by individuals who believe in the paranormal
        • People who have OBE's are more FP
    • Near Death Experience (NDE)
      • Psychological explanation
        • Some people hold paranormal beliefs - lead them to interpret events in terms of paranormal explanations
        • Fact NDE's aren't experienced by all near-death patients means that there is likely to be a psychological component
      • Biological explanation
        • Endorphins are released at times of pain and stress
          • Lead to feelings of euphoria and detachment
        • Hypoxia might cause REM intrusions which create a mixed sleep/awake state which could disrupt integration of sensory information
      • Naturally occurring NDE's
        • Ring (1980)
          • Interviewed 100 people who had NDE's
          • Found 60% of survivors reported sense of peace; 33% reported OBE's; 25% entered a tunnel; few experienced life review
        • Nelson et al. (2006)
          • Studied 55 people with NDE's and 55 controls
          • Found NDE group were more likely to experience REM intrusions
          • Indicates having an NDE may be linked to dream micro sleep episodes while awake
      • Artificially induced NDE's
        • Jansen (1993)
          • Experimented with ketamine, giving it to patients to observe the effects
          • Found it produces classic symptoms of NDE's
          • Says real reductionism comes from those who attempt to 'draw a mystical cover over the NDE, belittling the substantial evidence in favour of a scientific explanation'.
      • Spiritual explanation
        • Van Lommel et al. (2001)
          • Followed 344 cardiac survivors over 8 years
          • Found those who experienced NDE regarded it as a life-changing, spiritual experience
          • Those who didn't continued to fear death
      • Cultural differences
        • Augustine (2008)
          • Presented a review of NDEs in different cultures - Indian NDEs involve encounters with Hindu figures
          • Differences and similarities suggest both psychological and physiological factors are involved
      • Interviewer bias

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