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Psychological correlates of the UFO abduction experience : the role of beliefs and indirect suggestions on abduction accounts obtained during hypnosis

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Psychological correlates of the UFO abduction experience : the role of beliefs and indirect suggestions on abduction accounts obtained during hypnosis

Day, Duncan J.A (1998) Psychological correlates of the UFO abduction experience : the role of beliefs and indirect suggestions on abduction accounts obtained during hypnosis. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Reports of UFO abductions continue to increase in number in North America, the details of which are most commonly obtained in a quasi-therapeutic context, often involving hypnosis. In a series of studies at Concordia, we examined the phenomenology of these reports, the people who report them, and the roles which hypnosis and belief systems may play in such reports. Part 1 examined UFO abductees, and their experiences in the context of their hypnotizability, beliefs, and cognitive style. Our findings supplemented those of earlier studies (i.e., Spanos, 1987; Lawson, 1977) which indicated that, although abductees did not differ from the general population in terms of psychopathology, they did display different personality traits and cognitive styles prone to fantasy, conspiratorial thinking, and a higher degree of pre-existing beliefs in UFO-related phenomena. Part 2 examined the extent to which pre-hypnotic suggestions would be incorporated into hypnotic narratives of UFO abductions in a group of non-abductee volunteers. Suggestions resembling popular cultural aspects of abductions were incorporated into the hypnotic narratives of participants when they were asked to describe an imagined abduction experience. Part 3 examined the extent to which such simulated reports can be distinguished from the claims of bona fide abductees. Transcribed portions of both imaginary and putative actual abduction accounts were rated as being real or imagined by trained clinicians, and educated non-clinicians. The mean accuracy of the raters at distinguishing actual accounts from imagined was 51%, or chance level. The results are discussed in the context of memory distortion and confabulatory processes, and the potential role hypnosis plays in exacerbating these processes.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Day, Duncan J.A
Pagination:xi, 240 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (Ph.D.)
Program:Psychology
Date:1998
Thesis Supervisor(s):Laurence, Jean-Roch
ID Code:525
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:12
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:15
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