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Into The Unknown: Using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis To Explore Personal Accounts of Paranormal Experiences.

Drinkwater, K and Dagnall, N and Bate, L (2013) Into The Unknown: Using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis To Explore Personal Accounts of Paranormal Experiences. The Journal of Parapsychology, 77 (2). pp. 281-294.

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Abstract

Research exploring general subjective paranormal experience (GSPE) has traditionally used a quantitative approach. Resultant statistical analysis focuses upon categorization, validity and reliability, and fails to consider fully the impact of paranormal experiences at an intimate/personal level. Using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), this paper explored how individual understanding of paranormal events was constructed. IPA focuses on personal experience and considers the meaning individuals attach to phenomena. Analysis of four interviews gave rise to three themes: distortion of reality (physical and mental fantasy of experience), you are not alone (third party sensory presence), and personal growth (effect on self). Emergent themes suggested an inextricable link between belief, behavior and perception. Paranormal event comprehension and rationalization profoundly affected individuals; was accompanied by fear of the unknown, and an unwillingness to accept the uncertain.

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