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Anticipatory awareness of emotionally charged targets by individuals who went through shocking experiences.

ABSTRACT: In this study, an attempt was made to establish a connection between past psychotraumatic experiences and psi abilities, especially precognition. The theoretical concept underlying this hypothesis is the postulate of a personal sensitization factor (PSF). The PSF can be defined as an intrapsychic precipitate of shocking life events or childhood hardship that has sensitized the individual for so-called congruent life events (CLEs), that is, events that possess a certain similarity--concrete or symbolical--to the original trauma. This concept helps to explain why sometimes, following a minor distressing or even trivial event, such as moving to another place or the anniversary of the birth of one's child, a depressive illness or a psychotic reaction may break out. Under certain circumstances, however, even an event remote in space-time, such as the momentous or future death of a beloved one or any other meaningful event, may fulfill the role of a CLE, giving rise to such anomalous phenomena as crisis t elepathy or precognition.

Twelve participants were asked to guess the top-down sequence of symbols in an open deck of 100 Zener cards. These "cards" were represented by 100 random numbers from 1 to 5, which had been generated by a pseudo-random number generator (RNG) some days before. In total, there were 4 of such runs of 100 trials. For each run, a different list of random numbers was used. After having completed the second run, the participants were invited to an adjacent room in which 12 thematic apperception test (TAT) or TAT-like pictures were spread out. They then were requested to write down in a questionnaire which pairs of pictures they found "shocking or disgusting," "comforting," "trivial," or "arousing mixed feelings." This procedure left out 4 pictures that were not mentioned at all. Participants were also asked to answer questions about traumatic experiences in their own life (personal trauma) as well as in the lives of their parents (possible transgenerational trauma). The 12 pictures had been allotted to 12 different locations within the deck of 100 targets by the same pseudo-RNG. These locations remained the same throughout the 4 runs.

Units of measurement were (a) the trauma scores that had been given to each participant by the experimenter based on the answers in the questionnaire and (b) the number of both direct and displaced hits on Zener cards connected with (i.e., located at the position of) a picture, expressed as a proportion of the total number of hits or displacements. Pearson correlations between trauma scores and the percentage of both forward and backward displacements were significantly positive (p < .01). A significant positive correlation (p < .001) could be observed in the second run, that is, just prior to the exposure to the targets, between the overall trauma score and the percentage of forward displacements.

For the more traumatized participants, pictures that had been mentioned by them attracted significantly more displacements than pictures that had not been mentioned. An experimenter effect, as an alternative explanation of the findings, cannot as yet be fully ruled out.
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Article Details
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Author:De Graaf, Theo K.; Houtkooper, Joop M.; Palmer, John
Publication:The Journal of Parapsychology
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2001
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