Factors which influence our understanding of anomalous experience

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Factors which influence our understanding of anomalous experience by Mind Map: Factors which influence our understanding of anomalous experience

1. Personality Factors

1.1. Ramakrishna (2001) - students - 'psi hitters' scored higher on ESP tasks than 'psi missers' - hitters had characteristics such as warm, sociable, enthusiastic, cheerful, quick, relaxed - missers were tense, exitable, demanding, impatient, shy, submissive

1.2. Palmer (1978) - neurotic subjects tend to score at chance level or below in ESP tasks, whereas well adjusted and stable Ps scored higher

1.2.1. This may be as a result of neurotic Ps being deindividuated, which results in lower levels of anxiety and this therefore effects ESP performance

1.3. Honorton et al (1998) - meta analysis - extroverts scored higher than introverts in 77% of studies

1.3.1. Generalisable? Experimental conditions are very artificial so they may not be representative of the real world (low mundane realism)

1.3.2. Introversion and extroversion may not be the only factors which have a casual effect

2. Biological Factors

2.1. Abnormalities in temporal lobe function of those with higher psi ability

2.1.1. Persinger and Koren (2001) - all anomalistic experience can be explained by some form of temporal lobe abnormalities

2.1.1.1. Little support for this claim

2.1.2. Blackmore (1994) - induced paranormal experience through stimulation of temporal lobe - after 10 minutes felt like 2 hands were grabbing her and pulling her upwards

2.2. Some researchers have suggested that ESP tasks are processed by the right hemisphere

2.2.1. Other researchers have claimed that it is not the right hemisphere but the left which has a critical involvement with ESP ability

2.2.2. Maher et al (1979) - Ps brain hemispheres were stimulated once at a time - right hemisphere activation was dominant in ESP tasks

2.3. Broughton et al (1991) - parent-child and sbling pairs performed higher in paired ESP tasks whereas spouse pairs scored at the level of chance

2.3.1. Is this due to nature or to nurture? The crucual variables are not separated - Potentially on the side of nature

2.4. Electrohypersensitivity

2.4.1. A lot of people who claim to see ghosts or alien abductions tend to live near electricity sub-stations, phone masts, pylons etc

3. Seems artificial to separate these factors when there could be a link between all of them

4. Cognitive

4.1. Sheep/ Goat effect

4.1.1. Sheep are more likely to believe in the paranormal - the way you think about something effects your belief in paranormal

4.2. The Misattribution Hypothesis

4.2.1. Comes about when people think that coincidences are caused by supernatural powers rather than normal, everyday occurrences

4.2.2. Believers in psi phenomena tend to have lower intellect and poorer cognitive abilities

4.2.2.1. Studies in American have compared students' SAT scores with belief in psi phenomena and found that generally those with a lower level of achievement had a heightened belief

4.2.2.1.1. Population bias

4.2.2.2. In syllogistic reasoning tasks, non-believers seem to perform better

4.2.2.3. Winkelman (2001) - children in a remote Mexican village - formal education seems to reduce the effects of ESP

4.2.2.4. Many researchers are not able to replicate their findings

4.2.3. Probability Misjudgement

4.2.3.1. e.g. If you randomly think about a friend and suddenly they phone you, you might think that this has a psychic basis rather than happening by chance

4.2.3.2. Blackmore and Troscianko (1985) - individuals who make poor probability misjudgements were more likely to suggest that their experiences were psychic

4.2.3.2.1. This could also be explained by poor cognitive ability

4.2.4. The tendency to find links in distantly related material

4.2.4.1. Individuals who have had psychic experiences think this because there appears to be an inexplicable association between their thoughts and events in the real world

4.2.5. Fantasy proneness

4.2.5.1. individuals find it difficult to separate their experiences of reality from fantasy

4.2.5.2. Marks (1988) - fantasy prone people are more likely to report having unusual perceptual experiences such as visions, hearing voices or apparitions

4.3. You cannot predict when paranormal experiences will happen which makes anomalous psychology difficult to measure