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Title: The role of imagination in the construction of anomalous experience
Author: Williams, Carl
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1997
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This work explores the relationships between individual differences and anomalous experience. The research reported here also identifies and explores possible commonalities between some reports of paranormal experiences and clinical research on hallucinations. In particular, a distinction is made between imaginative cognitive style and intolerant cognitive style. Both of these modes of thinking and judging have been associated with paranormal experience, paranormal belief and psychopathology. These factors are explored experimentally, descriptively and phenomenologically in order to provide as full an account as possible. On the basis of experimental and correlational studies it is proposed that an experiential as opposed to a rational mode of thought underlies these experiences. This experiential pattern of thought is characterised by high levels of imaginative absorption and magical ideation. Furthermore, these tendencies provide a rich context for the reception of unusual perceptions and ideas and a fundamentally creative, metaphorical and analogical understanding of those 'anomalous' cognitions. The recent developments in the field of conceptual metaphor offer a theoretical context for understanding these experiences and an account of this is proposed based on a metaphorical understanding of reality.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available