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JSPR Abstracts 2016

January 2016

Out-of-Body Experiences During Physical Activity: Report of Four New Cases

by Carlos S. Alvarado

The occurrence of out-of-body experiences (OBEs) is generally associated with states in which the person is inactive. This includes states of unconsciousness, relaxation, or sitting or lying down. Although most cases conform to this pattern, a minority take place while the individual is engaged in physical activity such as talking, driving vehicles, walking, and playing musical instruments. In addition to summarizing previously published cases of this sort, four new cases are presented. The cases are discussed in light of previous reports. Such OBEs are similar to automatic behaviours encountered in daily life and in dissociative states. It is suggested that future studies might focus on the features, psychology, and physiology of OBEs that occur under conditions of physical activity.

The Boundary Construct and Anomalous Experiences In Psychics

by Alejandro Parra & Juan Carlos Argibay

Personality differences between those reporting psi experiences and those reporting psi abilities have been insufficiently explored, although a number of studies have noted ‘sensitivity’ and ‘flexibility’ as characterizing psychic claimants. The present study aims to investigate differences between psychic claimants and non-psychics on their experience of hallucinations and abnormal perceptions and the ‘boundary’ construct. Participants were split between psychic and non-psychic groups, with the former having reported psychic abilities such as paranormal/anomalous feelings or impressions of being at unknown places and aura vision. Psychics (n = 87) and non-psychic (n = 112) completed the Cardiff Anomalous Perception Scale, the Revised Transliminality Scale and the Boundary Questionnaire (in addition, a scale to evaluate their psychic abilities). The psychics group scored higher on Anomalous Perception (measured by CAPS) and ‘thin’ boundary than non-psychics, but lower on Transliminality. In addition, Anomalous Experiences was the best predictor for psychic group membership (? = .073; p = .031) and secondly ‘thin’ boundaries. Psychic claimants would be likely candidates with whom to test Hartmann’s ‘continuity hypothesis’ because of their familiarity with their own alterations in consciousness and their functioning toward the thin-boundaried end of the continuum.

April 2016

Paranormal Belief and Perceived Control Over Life Events

By Chris A. Roe & Clare Bell

The psychodynamic functions hypothesis has been proposed as a means to explain the high levels of paranormal belief among the population. According to this view, the world appears to some to be unpredictable, uncontrollable and inherently meaningless, which gives rise to anxiety. Paranormal beliefs may develop to allay this anxiety by offering the promise of order and personal power. Although there is some evidence to support the putative association between the three variables of perceived helplessness, anxiety and paranormal belief, these have not previously been considered together in the same population. Sixty-five participants completed a battery of measures including the State-Trait Anxiety Index (Spielberger, 1983), the revised Paranormal Belief Scale (Tobacyk, 2004) as well as newly constructed Estimated Likelihood of Stressful Events and Perceived Control over Stressful Events scales. No relationship was found between perceived control over future life events and paranormal belief, but measures of state and trait anxiety correlated significantly with both perceived control and paranormal belief. Results of a path analysis suggested a model that was broadly in agreement with the psychodynamic functions hypothesis in describing a mediating role for anxiety.

Psychokinesis Analysed Through Morphic Resonance

by Jean-Pierre Courtial and René Peoc’h

Many experiments have demonstrated the influence of an animal or human being on a random process through multiple — particularly visual — interfaces. Research into the relationship between a chick and a Random Number Generator (RNG) controlled robot (called a tychoscope) is re-examined in such a way as to show that, rather than a unidirectional influence, this relationship suggests a process of morphic resonance between neuronal structures, displacement structures of the tychoscope, and the structure of the initially random electronic movements of the RNG. A quantum decoherence law is suggested through a mathematical model checked with real data.

October 2016

Psi and Synchronicity: A Controlled Comparison

By John Palmer

The aims of the study were to compare scores on structurally similar tests designed to measure psi (ESP) and synchronicity respectively and provisionally determine whether a significant result on the synchronicity task is best explained by psi (an ability) or synchronicity (a principle of nature), inferred by whether the test scores correlate with a measure of an ability. Sixty volunteers completed in counterbalanced order two similar 40-trial forcedchoice tasks introduced in the instructions respectively as tests of synchronicity and psi as defined above. One of four rectangles was randomly assigned as the target for each trial. In the synchronicity task, participants were asked to choose which of four messages inside the rectangles was most personally meaningful. In the ESP task, participants were asked to use ESP to select the target rectangle. Mean scores on both tasks were nonsignificantly below chance. Participants scoring high in the internal direction on Levenson’s Multidimensional Locus of Control Scales had significantly higher ESP scores than other participants, a mirror image of the expected superior performance of externally oriented participants on the synchronicity task. A pattern of significant bivariate correlations among ESP and synchronicity scores, expectation of a high score, perceived meaningfulness of all the messages, reaction times to message presentation, and previous synchronicity experiences was interpreted as the creation of negative affect associated with low expectation of success, frustration, and impatience in response to the test procedures leading to below chance scoring by some participants. All significant results should be considered tentative pending replication.

Exploratory Study of the Temperament Theory and Paranormal Experiences

By Alejandro Parra & Juan Carlos Argibay
Few studies have explored personality traits to explain paranormal experiences, so it is not surprising that connections remain to be made between such experiences and a person’s temperament. The aim of this study is to compare the frequency of paranormal experiences across four temperament groups. Questionnaires that included the standarized Spanish version of the Eysenck Personality Inventory (Form A) were distributed to 2678 Psychology 
undergraduate students, and 1860 usable returns were retained for the categorization procedure. Individuals who scored in the upper and lower quartiles for extraversion and neuroticism were allocated to one of four groups: Phlegmatic (n = 30); Sanguine (n = 54); Melancholic (n = 159); and Choleric (n = 160). This sample completed a second 10-item self-report inventory designed to measure spontaneous paranormal/anomalous experiences. Members of the Choleric group scored higher on frequency of Out-of-Body Experiences, ESP in dreams, Aura, Déjà-vu, and overall count of experiences; the Sanguine group scored higher on Telepathy; whereas the Melancholic group scored higher on frequency of Sense of presence. Anomalous experiences, such as OBE, dream recall and auras, could be facilitated using extravert subjects characterized as touchy, restless, excitable, changeable, and impulsive.