Saturday, September 12, 2009

Are abductions all in the mind?

Volume 44 issue 10 pages 1387-1395 of the November 2008 issue of Cortex carries an article on abductees co-authored by Adelaide based parapsychologist Michael A Thalbourne.

The abstract reads:

"Previous research has shown that people reporting contact with aliens, known as 'experiencers', appear to have a different psychological profile compared to control participants.

"They show higher levels of dissociativity, absorption, paranormal belief and experience, and possibly fantasy proneness.

" They also appear to show greater susceptibility to false memories as assessed using the Deese/Roediger-McDermott technique.

"The present study reports an attempt to replicate these previous findings as well as assessing tendency to hallucinate and self-reported incidence of sleep paralysis in a sample of 19 UK-based experiencers and a control sample matched on age and gender.

" Experiencers were found to show higher levels of dissociativity, absorption, paranormal belief, paranormal experience, self-reported psychic ability, fantasy proneness, tendency to hallucinate, and self reported incidence of sleep paralysis.

"No significant differences were found between the groups in terms of susceptibility to false memories.

"Implications of the results are discussed and suggestions are made for future areas of research."

A very interesting piece of research with wide implications!

In the 2002 Australian Journal of Parapsychology, Michael Thalbourne and Keith Basterfield published the results of some work with Australian experiencers. Their article is titled "Belief in, and alleged experience of, the paranormal in ostensible UFO abductees." An abstract of the paper may be read at: http://www.aiprinc.org/abstracts_2.htm

The full text of some other very detailed Australian research by Gow et al may be read
at: http://www.anomalistik.de/gow.pdf

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