Dissociational body experiences: Differences between respondents with and without prior out-of-body-experiences

Craig Murray, Craig D. Murray, Jezz Fox

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Many people report having had an experience in which they felt as if their phenomenal self was separated in Cartesian space from their physical body. This phenomenon is often referred to as an 'out-of-body' (OBE) experience. Prior work has found OBE experients to score higher on measures of dissociation and to differ in regards to the perceptual experience of their body. Based upon this work, we theorized that the daily bodily experiences of people with and without a prior OBE would differ along a number of dimensions. In order to test this theory a questionnaire study was conducted. Of 243 respondents, 62 reported at least one prior OBE. Six scales on different aspects of bodily experience were administered. Respondents reporting a previous OBE were found to score significantly higher on measures of somatoform dissociation, self-consciousness, body dissatisfaction, and lower on a measure of confidence in their physical self-presentation than respondents without a previous OBE. The findings are discussed as supporting a dissociational theory of the OBE. © 2005 The British Psychological Society.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)441-456
    Number of pages15
    JournalThe British journal of psychology
    Volume96
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2005

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