Dr. Susan Clancy, in her book Abducted: How People Come to Believe They Were Kidnapped by Aliens, discusses how there were no reports of alleged alien abductions until science fiction books, movies, radio and TV shows about alien abductions started appearing. The first film in which people are abducted by aliens was the 1953 B-movie Invaders from Mars, followed by This Island Earth in 1955. With the 1960s came the TV series The Outer Limits that included some stories of alien abductions. In fact it was just 12 days after the airing of the 1964 “Bellero Shield” episode of The Outer Limits that Betty and Barney Hill “recovered” memories through hypnosis of their alleged 1961 abduction in the White Mountains. Following the Hill story the reports of these so-called abductions proliferated.
If alien abductions were real, why would these extraterrestrial space travelers wait until the 1960s to start abducting people for their own research? Why not in the 1700s or 1800s? Another interesting observation that Clancy makes is that there are virtually no reports of alien abduction outside the United States. Why wouldn’t these space travelers be interested in people from Asia, Africa, Europe and South America? Continue Reading
Spoiler Alert! If you are convinced you were abducted by aliens, please do not read any further. I have neither the desire nor the ability to change your belief. That said, the research shows that the event perceived as an “alien abduction” is an altered state of consciousness. The belief that one has been kidnapped by extraterrestrials is not.
I just finished reading an engrossing study called Abducted: How People Come to Believe They Were Kidnapped by Aliens by Susan A. Clancy, PhD, published by Harvard University Press. Dr. Clancy, a post doctoral fellow in psychology at Harvard, was doing research with people with “recovered” memories of childhood sexual abuse. She became frustrated because there was no way to know with certainty whether these people recovered memories of actual abuse or factitious events. She decided to “repeat the study with a population that I could be sure had ‘recovered’ false memories. Alien abductions seemed to fit the bill. (p. 20)” Continue Reading
In my two previous posts on the subject, I presented my conceptualization of the Daytime Parahypnagogia (DPH) hypothesis as well the data on how this altered state of consciousness is experienced. Today’s post presents the circumstances under which DPH is most likely to occur and the interference it has with cognitive functioning. Recall that the sample consisted of 164 clinical psychologists and 267 college students.
Sixty-four percent of the psychologists who acknowledged having experienced the described altered state said that it has occurred during psychotherapy! I was describing my DPH thesis to a colleague who was not a participant in the survey. He said that when he instantaneously recovers from these brief altered states, he has to make sure he responds to the content of what the patient just said and not to the content of the DPH event. Continue Reading
In a previous post entitled Have You Experienced Daytime Parahypnagogia?, I discussed my hypothesis of a previously undocumented altered state of consciousness, DPH for short. I conceptualized the experience as an extremely brief dissociative dreamlike episode occurring during waking hours that interferes with attention and alertness. It consists of a flash of an auditory or visual image, a thought, an insight and/or a spark of creativity. One is conscious of the event, but as in a dream, the memory of the content fades quickly as attention becomes refocused on the matters at hand. Following my publication in Medical Hypotheses, I conducted an empirical study to determine the extent and manner this phenomenon is experienced. I sampled two populations: clinical psychologists and university students. Continue Reading
Whether you realize it or not, all the good domain names are taken! So, it took a bit of ingenuity, creativity, loose association and a tolerant wife to come up with a new name that is topical, catchy and flows. All of the above played a role in the name PsychMinder.
On one level, the word mind refers not only to one of the main functions of the brain, but also as a verb it means “to attend to.” As in, “Mind your own business” or “Mind the store.” Thus a minder is one who attends to, cares for, or looks after someone or something. My wife told me that in the United Kingdom a minder is a baby sitter or nanny. However, for this occasion, a PsychMinder is one who attends to or cares about psychology. I started this blog in an effort to help both my readers and myself stay current on new research, topics and ideas in psychology. Some of the ideas I will present are my own and others will be in reaction to what others have written, said or done. While I am a clinical psychologist, my interests in psychology are wide-ranging and my posts are just as eclectic. Continue Reading
What happens in the instant when we almost fall asleep? In this post I postulate a particular form of this unnerving and perhaps dissociative experience. A review of the literature suggests that this phenomenon that we are calling Daytime Parahypnagogia (DPH) appears to be a previously undescribed state of consciousness. Continue Reading