Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.532587
Title: Comparing memories of unusual or anomalous experiences viewed as psychotic experiences with those memories deemed to be culturally acceptable
Author: Petronić, G.
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2005
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Abstract:
Science, parapsychology, religion and spirituality provide theoretical frameworks that are widespread in our society and culture. People tend to use these frameworks to explain their experiences. However, the theoretical framework used to explain an experience might determine whether the experience would be regarded as 'normal' or as a sign of psychopathology. Recently it has been argued that symptoms of mental illnesses should be viewed on a continuum with normal experiences. Studies indicate that hallucinations and uncommon beliefs are widespread in the general population. Also, the validity of psychiatric diagnostic tools and categories have recently been challenged by new studies which indicate an overlap between mental illness categories and an inability to distinguish between psychopathology and normality. This study examines the similarities and differences between unusual perceptual experiences seen as a product of a psychotic illness and those regarded as anomalous experiences. The study also examines cultural influences on people's understanding of their experiences. The 'Memory Work' qualitative research method was used for collecting and analysing the data. This method is unique in that it does not make a distinction between researchers and participants. Instead the researchers themselves produce data, which the group men collectively analyse. The results indicated that unusual perceptual experiences explained by the coresearchers who received a psychiatric diagnosis (in the clinical group) and those who did not (in the non-clinical group) are both similar and different. The similarities could be seen as being that the people in both groups had difficulties in understanding the experiences and questioned their sanity; they emerged in similar contexts and ways of managing the experiences were similar to a certain extent. The differences could be seen as being that the experiences regarded as a product of psychotic illness were perceived as more intense in terms of frequency and duration and surprisingly had more pleasant effects on the co-researchers in the clinical group than the experiences in the non-clinical group. The findings are discussed in relation to existing literature on this topic.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.532587  DOI: Not available
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