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Exceptional experiences reported by scientists and engineers.
Explore (NY) 2018; 14(5):329-341E

Abstract

CONTEXT

Throughout history people have reported exceptional experiences that appear to transcend the everyday boundaries of space and time, such as perceiving someone's thoughts from a distance. Because such experiences are associated with superstition, and some violate currently accepted materialist conventions, one might assume that scientists and engineers would be much less likely to report instances of these experiences than the general population.

OBJECTIVES

To evaluate 1) the prevalence of exceptional human experiences (EHEs), 2) the level of paranormal belief, 3) the relationship between them, and 4) potential predictors of EHEs in three groups.

PARTICIPANTS

Potential volunteers were randomly selected to receive invitations for an anonymous survey.

MAIN MEASURES

Data were collected on 25 different types of EHEs, demographics, religious or spiritual affiliations, paranormal beliefs, mental health, and personality traits. Group differences were analyzed with chi-square tests and analysis of variance, and predictors were evaluated with a general linear model.

RESULTS

94.0% of the general population (n = 283), 93.2% of scientists and engineers (n = 175), and 99.3% of enthusiasts (n = 441) endorsed at least one EHE (X2(2) = 21.1, p < 0.0005). Paranormal belief was highest in EHE enthusiasts, followed by scientists and the general population (F(2,769) = 116.2, p < 0.0005). Belief was positively correlated with experience (r = 0.61, p < 0.0005). An exploratory general linear model showed that variables such as mental health, personality, impact and family history predict the endorsement and frequency of EHEs. This study indicates that EHEs occur frequently in both the general population and in scientists and engineers.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Institute of Noetic Sciences, 101 San Antonio Road, Petaluma, California 94952. Electronic address: hwahbeh@noetic.org.Institute of Noetic Sciences, 101 San Antonio Road, Petaluma, California 94952.Institute of Noetic Sciences, 101 San Antonio Road, Petaluma, California 94952; Northwestern University, 633 Clark St, Evanston, IL 60208, United States.Institute of Noetic Sciences, 101 San Antonio Road, Petaluma, California 94952.Institute of Noetic Sciences, 101 San Antonio Road, Petaluma, California 94952.

Pub Type(s)

Letter

Language

eng

PubMed ID

30415782

Citation

Wahbeh, Helané, et al. "Exceptional Experiences Reported By Scientists and Engineers." Explore (New York, N.Y.), vol. 14, no. 5, 2018, pp. 329-341.
Wahbeh H, Radin D, Mossbridge J, et al. Exceptional experiences reported by scientists and engineers. Explore (NY). 2018;14(5):329-341.
Wahbeh, H., Radin, D., Mossbridge, J., Vieten, C., & Delorme, A. (2018). Exceptional experiences reported by scientists and engineers. Explore (New York, N.Y.), 14(5), pp. 329-341. doi:10.1016/j.explore.2018.05.002.
Wahbeh H, et al. Exceptional Experiences Reported By Scientists and Engineers. Explore (NY). 2018;14(5):329-341. PubMed PMID: 30415782.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Exceptional experiences reported by scientists and engineers. AU - Wahbeh,Helané, AU - Radin,Dean, AU - Mossbridge,Julia, AU - Vieten,Cassandra, AU - Delorme,Arnaud, Y1 - 2018/08/02/ PY - 2018/01/18/received PY - 2018/04/30/revised PY - 2018/05/16/accepted PY - 2018/11/13/entrez PY - 2018/11/13/pubmed PY - 2019/3/2/medline KW - Engineers KW - Exceptional human experiences KW - Scientists SP - 329 EP - 341 JF - Explore (New York, N.Y.) JO - Explore (NY) VL - 14 IS - 5 N2 - CONTEXT: Throughout history people have reported exceptional experiences that appear to transcend the everyday boundaries of space and time, such as perceiving someone's thoughts from a distance. Because such experiences are associated with superstition, and some violate currently accepted materialist conventions, one might assume that scientists and engineers would be much less likely to report instances of these experiences than the general population. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate 1) the prevalence of exceptional human experiences (EHEs), 2) the level of paranormal belief, 3) the relationship between them, and 4) potential predictors of EHEs in three groups. PARTICIPANTS: Potential volunteers were randomly selected to receive invitations for an anonymous survey. MAIN MEASURES: Data were collected on 25 different types of EHEs, demographics, religious or spiritual affiliations, paranormal beliefs, mental health, and personality traits. Group differences were analyzed with chi-square tests and analysis of variance, and predictors were evaluated with a general linear model. RESULTS: 94.0% of the general population (n = 283), 93.2% of scientists and engineers (n = 175), and 99.3% of enthusiasts (n = 441) endorsed at least one EHE (X2(2) = 21.1, p < 0.0005). Paranormal belief was highest in EHE enthusiasts, followed by scientists and the general population (F(2,769) = 116.2, p < 0.0005). Belief was positively correlated with experience (r = 0.61, p < 0.0005). An exploratory general linear model showed that variables such as mental health, personality, impact and family history predict the endorsement and frequency of EHEs. This study indicates that EHEs occur frequently in both the general population and in scientists and engineers. SN - 1878-7541 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/30415782/Exceptional_experiences_reported_by_scientists_and_engineers L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S1550-8307(18)30011-9 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -