Extrasensory Perception Experiences and Childhood Trauma: A Rorschach Investigation

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This study investigated whether people who report recurrent extrasensory perception (ESP) experiences (telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition) have suffered more traumatic experiences and traumatic intrusions. Thirty-one nonclinical participants reporting recurrent ESP experiences were compared with a nonclinical sample of 31 individuals who did not report recurrent ESP phenomena. Past traumatic experiences were assessed via a self-report measure of trauma history (Childhood Trauma Questionnaire); traumatic intrusions were assessed via a performance-based personality measure (Rorschach Traumatic Content Index). Participants also completed the Anomalous Experience Inventory, the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2, the Dissociative Experience Scale, and the Revised Paranormal Belief Scale. The ESP group reported higher levels of emotional abuse, sexual abuse, emotional neglect, physical neglect, and traumatic intrusions. The association between ESP experiences and trauma was partly mediated by the effects of dissociation and emotional distress. Implications for health professionals are discussed. Results also showed the reliability of the twofold method of assessment of trauma.

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