Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Extending the non-contact healing paradigm to explore distant mental interaction effects of Pagan healing spells
Author: Sonnex, Charmaine
ISNI:       0000 0004 6424 0310
Awarding Body: University of Northampton
Current Institution: University of Northampton
Date of Award: 2017
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Paganism is a burgeoning belief system in the UK, which has received little attention from psychological researchers. Healing is a key aspect of modern Pagan practice, yet it too receives little attention from those investigating distance healing practices. Given the growth of Paganism in recent years these omissions from the literature should be addressed by researchers. This thesis investigates the healing practices of modern Paganism using a mixed methods approach across three phases. The first phase is a meta-analysis of existing non-contact healing research. There has been much research investigating the efficacy of various forms of non-contact healing which has resulted in reviews and meta-analysis which suggest that non-contact practices can have some positive effect upon the recipient’s wellbeing; however they also raise the issue of low study quality in this area. The most recent comprehensive review of this subject area was published in 2000; much more research has been published since then and the legitimacy of some previously published research has since been questioned. Also, such reviews focus on ‘whole’ human participants who might be susceptible to expectancy effects or benefit from the healing intentions of friends, family or their own religious groups. To address these issues an up to date, comprehensive meta-analysis was conducted that included healing studies that involved biological systems other than ‘whole’ humans (e.g., studies of plants or cell cultures) that were less susceptible to placebo-like effects and investigated the impact of study quality. Phase two employed interviews with practising Pagans regarding their spell casting practices. Eight Pagans from a variety of traditions were interviewed using semi structured interviews and the data were analysed using thematic analysis. Six major themes and 16 subthemes were extracted from the data and used to inform the design of phase three. Phase three is a randomised controlled trial of Pagan healing spells. The trial utilised a delayed intervention design. Various aspects of the trial design were informed by phase two interviews, such as the choice of outcome measure, the use of spell request forms, participant pictures and items, and scepticism measures.
Supervisor: Roe, C. ; Roxburgh, E. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: RZ401 Distant healing ; BL65 Spiritual healing. Religion and medicine