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Predictors of Hearing Electronic Voice Phenomena in Random Noise: Schizotypy, Fantasy Proneness, and Paranormal Beliefs

Drinkwater, Kenneth and Denovan, Andrew and Dagnall, Neil and Parker, Andrew (2020) Predictors of Hearing Electronic Voice Phenomena in Random Noise: Schizotypy, Fantasy Proneness, and Paranormal Beliefs. Journal of Parapsychology, 84 (1). pp. 96-113. ISSN 0022-3387

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Abstract

This study used a modified White Christmas task to examine reports of electronic voice phenomena (EVP) within random noise. Following familiarization with the concept of EVP, 107 participants listened to an audio track combining white and pink noise. Instructions directed participants to press a keyboard button to indicate if they heard EVP. At the end of the track, participants provided an overall confidence rating of EVP perception. Thirty-nine participants (36%) reported the presence of EVP. Comparisons between EVP experiencers vs. non-experiencers on cognitive-perceptual (schizotypy, hallucinations, and fantasy proneness) and paranormal belief measures (general and haunting) revealed no significant differences. A path analysis indicated that belief in haunting mediated the relations between paranormal belief and hallucination proneness with EVP outcomes (number and confidence). However, fantasy proneness and schizotypy did not have significant relations with EVP. Results were consistent with previous findings, where participants imagine hearing the famous White Christmas song. Within this study, a non-trivial minority of participants experienced EVP as a form of belief congruent hallucination. These findings support the notion that anomalous beliefs provide a framework for structuring unusual cognitions and perceptions.

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