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The nature, incidence, impact and integration of spontaneous parapsychological experiences: an exploratory mixed methods research study

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posted on 05.03.2019, 02:40 by Rosemary Breen
Anecdotal reports of paranormal experiences abound. In addition to the numerous books, films and media articles, there is a growing body of personal narratives which is readily accessed through online websites, blogs and chatrooms. By comparison, there is a paucity of documented research on spontaneous parapsychological phenomena in the academic literature. The current exploratory study sought to redress this imbalance by addressing the research problem: what types of paranormal phenomena do people spontaneously encounter, and are there unifying themes µi the reports of these experiences? This research followed the Mixed Methods Research model. Qualitative and quantitative data were gathered via an online survey instrument, which was written in English. Over three thousand (N=3194) self-selecting respondents completed the questionnaire and in total, 59 countries were represented. The majority of the paranormal experients were from the United States of America (N=l979), Australia (N=485), United Kingdom (N=252), and Canada (N=228). More women (62%) than men participated in the survey, and while the dominant age group was the 18-35 year olds (45%), this was closely followed by the 36-55 year olds (43%). The survey gathered information on ten categories of paranormal experience, namely deja vu, apparitions, near-death episodes, out-of-body experiences, psychokinesis, premonitions, auras, mediumship, reincarnation, and telepathy. The survey gathered statistical data on the type, frequency, and age at onset of each type of experience. Respondents were also invited to reflect on the possible causes and the personal impact of their own parapsychological experiences.


Campus location


Principal supervisor

Beverley Jane

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Faculty of Education


Master of Education

Degree Type



Faculty of Education