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Title: Empathy and Parapsychological Experiences: A Constructive Replication
Contributor(s): Irwin, Harvey J (author)
Publication Date: 2017
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Abstract: This study explored the relationship between the occurrence of parapsychological experiences and the psychological construct of empathy. Three issues associated with this relationship were addressed: the replicability of the relationship for empathy measures other than the one used in two previous studies; the association between empathy and both proneness to anomalous experience and proneness to paranormal attributions; and the possibility that the relationship stems from a schizotypy-based discrepancy between mentalising and systemising thinking styles. A sample of 155 Australian university students participated in an online questionnaire survey. The relationship between parapsychological experiences and empathy was replicated with one empathy index but not with another. The relationship also was specific to a proneness to anomalous experiences; empathy was not related to a proneness to paranormal attributions. The discrepancy between mentalising and systemising thinking styles failed to predict either of the two dimensions of parapsychological experience. To some extent the investigation may have been constrained by the poor concurrent validity of empathy questionnaires, but the demonstration of a link between empathy and proneness to anomalous experiences is noteworthy.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 81(1), p. 1-16
Publisher: Society for Psychical Research
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 0037-1475
Field of Research (FOR): 170199 Psychology not elsewhere classified
170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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