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Conceptual and clinical implications of a “Haunted People Syndrome”.

Laythe, Brian and Houran, James and Dagnall, Neil and Drinkwater, Ken (2021) Conceptual and clinical implications of a “Haunted People Syndrome”. Spirituality in Clinical Practice. ISSN 2326-4500

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Abstract

Evidence suggests that subjective and objective anomalies associated with ghostlyepisodes form a unidimensional Rasch scale and that these interconnected“signs orsymptoms”arguably describe a syndrome model. This view predicts that symptomperception—that is, the phenomenology of these anomalous episodes—can be markedlyskewed by an experient’s psychological set. This is impacted, in turn, by psychosocialvariables that affect attentional, perceptual, and interpretational processes. Therefore, wepresent an overview that discusses how (a) Belief in the Paranormal, (b) ReligiousIdeology, (c) Ideological Practice, (d) Social Desirability, (e) Latency, and (f) Environ-mental Setting ostensibly influence the contents or interpretations of accounts. Theseexperiential details are similarly expected to reveal insights into the psychodynamicsbeing expressed or contextualized via these narratives. Future research in this area shouldhelp to validate and clarify the proposed syndrome model, as well as explore whichnuances in the phenomenology of ghostly episodes reflect idiosyncrasies of experients’psychological set versus the nature of the core phenomenon itself.

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