Cookies Policy
X

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Mystical Experience in the Lab

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Method & Theory in the Study of Religion

We review previous attempts to study mystical experience and point to problems inherent to certain methodologies. Focusing on studies that use controlled environments we advocate taking an experimental approach to mysticism. To demonstrate the viability of this approach, we report findings from a new study that probes the potential for eliciting mystical experiences in the laboratory. We find that our experimental paradigm is indeed enough to elicit mystical experiences. Based on subjective ratings of experience, rich descriptions from interviews, and data obtained three months after the study, our data indicate that the experiences reported by the participants had a high degree of authenticity and had lasting effects in terms of memory and attribution. These findings demonstrate that at least some forms of mystical experience can be studied in a controlled environment. Prospects and limitations for the experimental approach to mysticism are discussed.

Affiliations: 1: Religion, Cognition, & Culture, MINDLab, Aarhus Universitymana@cas.au.dk; 2: Religion, Cognition, & Culture, MINDLab, Aarhus Universityus@cas.au.dk; 3: Religion, Cognition, & Culture, MINDLab, Aarhus Universitykln@cas.au.dk; 4: Religion, Cognition, & Culture, MINDLab, Aarhus Universityjsn@cas.au.dk

10.1163/15700682-12341323
/content/journals/10.1163/15700682-12341323
dcterms_title,pub_keyword,dcterms_description,pub_author
10
5
Loading
Loading

Full text loading...

/content/journals/10.1163/15700682-12341323
Loading

Data & Media loading...

1. Almond Philip C. Mystical Experience and Religious Doctrine 1982 Berlin Mouton Publishers [Crossref]
2. Bar Moshe "Predictions: A universal principle in the operation of the human brain" Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society 2009a Vol 364 1521 1181 1182 [Crossref]
3. Bar Moshe "The proactive brain: Memory for prediction" Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society 2009b Vol 364 1521 1235 1243 [Crossref]
4. Beuregard M. , Paquette V. "Neural correlates of mystical experience in Carmelite nuns" Neuroscience Letters 2006 Vol 405 186 190 [Crossref]
5. Bourque Linda B. "Social correlates of transcendental experiences" Sociological Analysis 1969 Vol 30 3 151 163 [Crossref]
6. Braffman Wayne , Kirsch Irving "Imaginative suggestibility and hypnotizability: An empirical approach" Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 1999 Vol 77 3 578 587 [Crossref]
7. Bulbulia J. , Schjoedt U. Krueger F. , Grafman J. "The neural basis of religious belief" The Neural Basis of Human Belief Systems 2012 Psychology Press
8. Council James R. , Kirsch Irving , Haefner Laurin P. "Expectancy versus absorption in the prediction of hypnotic responding" Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 1986 Vol 50 182 189 [Crossref]
9. Deeley Quinton , Walsh Eamonn , Oakley David A. , Bell Vaughan , Koppel Cristina , Mehta Mitul A. , Halligan Peter W. Modeling psychiatric and cultural possession phenomena with hypnosis and fMRI
10. Deikman Arthur J. "Experimental meditation" Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 1963 Vol 136 329 343 [Crossref]
11. Friston K. "A theory of cortical responses" Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 2005 Vol 360 1456 815 836 [Crossref]
12. Friston Karl , Kiebel Stefan "Predictive coding under the free-energy principle" Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society 2009 Vol 364 1521 1211 1221 [Crossref]
13. Frith Chris Making up the Mind: How the Brain Creates our Mental World 2007 UK Blackwell Publishing
14. Geertz Armin W. "Introduktion: Mystik som et religionsvidenskabeligt problemområde" Mystik—den indre vej? 1990 Red. Per Bilde & Armin Geertz Aarhus Universitetsforlag, Aarhus
15. Granqvist Pehr , Fredrikson Mats , Unge Patrik , Hagenfeldt Andre , Valind Sven , Larhammer Dan , Larsson Marcus "Sensed presence and mystical experiences are predicted by suggestibility, not by the application of transcranial weak complex magnetic fields" Neuroscience Letters 2005 Vol 379 1 6 [Crossref]
16. Granqvist Pehr , Larsson Marcus "Contribution of religiousness in the prediction and interpretation of mystical experiences in a sensory deprivation context. Activation of religious schemas" The Journal of Psychology 2006 Vol 140 4 319 327 [Crossref]
17. Greeley Andrew M. Ecstasy: A Way of Knowing 1974 Englewood Cliffs, N.J. Prentice-Hall
18. Griffiths R.R. , Richards W.A. , Johnson M.W. , McCann U.D. , Jesse R. "Mystical-type experiences occasioned by psilocybin mediate the attribution of personal meaning and spiritual significance 14 months later" Journal of Psychopharmacology 2008 Vol 22 6 621 632 [Crossref]
19. Griffiths R.R. , Richards W.A. , McCann U. , Jesse R. "Psilocybin can occasion mystical-type experiences having substantial and sustained personal meaning and spiritual significance" Psychopharmacology 2006 Vol (Berl). 187 3 268 283 commentaries 284-292 [Crossref]
20. Griffiths R.R. , Johnson M.W. , McCann U. , Richards W.A. , Richards B.D. , Jesse R. "Psilocybin occasioned mystical-type experiences: immediate and persisting dose-related effects" Psychopharmacology 2011 June 15
21. Hammer Olav På spaning efter helheten: New Age, en ny folktro? 1997 Stockholm Wahlström & Widstrand
22. Hammersholt Torben A critical Analysis of the Comparative Study of Mysticism with Perspectives from Early Buddhism 2011a PhD thesis, Institute of Philosophy, Education and the Study of Religions, University of Southern Denmark
23. Hammersholt Torben "Et kritisk religionsvidenskabeligt perspektiv på mystikkens forskningshistorie" Mystik—i filosofi, religion og litteratur 2011b Red. Aksel Haaning og Magnus Riisager Forlaget Univers, Højbjerg
24. Hill D.R. , Persinger M.A. "Application of transcerebral, weak (1 microT) complex magnetic fields and mystical experiences: are they generated by field-induced dimethyltryptamine release from the pineal organ? Percept" Motor Skills 2003 Vol 97 1049 1050 [Crossref]
25. Holm S. "A simple sequentually rejective multiple test procedure" Scandinavian Journal of Statistics 1979 Vol 6 2 65 70
26. Hood Jr. , Ralph W. "Hypnotic susceptibility and reported religious experience" Psychological Reports 1973 Vol 33 549 550 [Crossref]
27. Hood Jr. , Ralph W. "The construction and preliminary validation of a measure of reported mystical experience" Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 1975 Vol 14 29 41 [Crossref]
28. Hood Jr. , Ralph W. , Morris R.J. "Sensory isolation and the differential elicitation of religious imagery in intrinsic and extrinsic persons" Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 1981 Vol 20 3 261 273 [Crossref]
29. Jack A.I. Perceptual Awareness in Visual Masking 1998 Unpublished Psychology Ph.D., UCL
30. Jackson Jr. , Wesley Rosemary , Wesley Ellis "Sensory deprivation as a field of study" Nursing Research 1971 Vol 20 1 46 54 [Crossref]
31. Katz Steven T. Katz Steven T. "Language, epistemology, and mysticism" Mysticism and Philosophical Analysis 1978 London Sheldon Press 22 74
32. Keller Carl A. Katz Steven T. "Mystical literature" Mysticism and Philosophical Analysis 1978 London Sheldon Press 75 100
33. Kirsch Irving "Response Expectancy as a Determinant of Experience and Behaviour" American Psychologist 1985 Vol 40 11 1189 1202 [Crossref]
34. Kirsch Irving Changing Expectations: A Key to Effective Psychotherapy 1990 Brooks/Cole Publishing Company
35. La Barre Weston Furst P.T. "Hallucinations and the shamanantic origins of religion" The Flesh of the Gods 1972 New York Praeger 261 278
36. Luhrmann T.M. When God Talks Back: Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship with God 2012 Alfred a Knopf Incorporated
37. Luhrmann T.M. , Nusbaum H. , Thisted R. "The absorption hypothesis: learning to hear god in evangelical christianity" American Anthropologist 2010 Vol 112 1 66 78 [Crossref]
38. MacLean K.A. , Johnson M.W. , Griffiths R.R. "Mystical experiences occasioned by the hallucinogen psilocybin lead to increases in the personality domain of openness" Journal of Psychopharmacology 2011 Vol 25 11 1453 1461 [Crossref]
39. MacLean K.A. , Johnson M.W. , Leoutsakos J.M.S , Griffiths R.R. "Factor analysis of the mystical experience: A study of experiences occasioned by the hallucinogen psilocybin" Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 2012 Vol 51 4 721 737 [Crossref]
40. Newberg A.B. , Alavi A. , Baime M. , Pordehnad M. , Santana J. , d’Aquili E.G. "The measurement of regional cerebral blood flow during the complex cognitive task of meditation: A preliminary SPECT study" Psychiatric Research: Neuroimaging 2001 Vol 106 113 122 [Crossref]
41. Nielbo K.L. , Sørensen J. "Spontaneous processing of functional and non-functional action sequences" Religion, Brain & Behavior 2011 Vol 1 1 18 30 [Crossref]
42. Nielbo K.L. , Schjoedt U. , Sørensen J. "Hierarchical organization of segmentation in non-functional action sequences" Journal of the Cognitive Science of Religion 2013 Vol 1 1
43. Orne Martin T. "The nature of hypnosis: Artifact and essence" Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology 1959 Vol 58 277 299 [Crossref]
44. Orne Martin T. Rosenthal Robert , Rosnow Ralph "Demand characteristics and the concept of quasi-controls" Artifacts in Behavioral Research Research 2009 New York Oxford University Press 110 137 [Crossref]
45. Pahnke Walter N. Leaf Russell , Debold Richard "LSD and religious experience" LSD, Man and Society 1967 Middletown, Connecticut Wesleyan University Press 60 84
46. Pahnke W.N. , Richards W.A. "Implications of LSD and experimental mysticism" Journal of Religion and Health 1966 Vol 5 175 208 [Crossref]
47. Paloutzian Raymond F. Invitation to the Psychology of Religion 1983 Scott, Foresman, and Company
48. Persinger M.A. 1997 Keynote Address, International Symposium, Magnetic Fields: Recent Advances in Diagnosis and Therapy, Lawson Research Institute Conference 1997 London, Ontario, Canada
49. Persinger M.A. Joseph Rhawn "Experimental simulation of the God experience: Implications for religious beliefs and the future of the human species" Neurotheology: Brain, Science, Spirituality, Religious Experience 2002 San Jose, California University Press 279 292
50. Ruohonen J. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: Modelling and New Techniques 1998 Doctoral Dissertation at Department of Engineering Physics and Mathematics, Helsinki University of Technology
51. Schjoedt Uffe "The religious brain: A general introduction to the experimental neuroscience of religion" Method and Theory in the Study of Religion 2009a Vol 21 310 339 [Crossref]
52. Schjoedt U. The Neural Substrates of Prayer: Toward an Experimental Neuroscience of Religion 2009b Aarhus University Press (PhD dissertation)
53. Schjoedt U., H. , Stødkilde-Jørgensen A.W. , Geertz T.E. , Lund A. Roepstorff "The power of charisma: Perceived charisma inhibits the frontal executive network of believers in intercessory prayer" SCAN 2011 Vol 6 1 119 127
54. Schjoedt U. , Sørensen J. , Nielbo K.L. , Xygalatas D. , Mitkidis P. , Bulbulia J. "Cognitive resource depletion in religious interactions (Target article)" Religion, Brain, and Behavior 2013a Vol 3 1 39 55 [Crossref]
55. Schjoedt U. , Sørensen J. , Nielbo K.L. , Xygalatas D. , Mitkidis P. , Bulbulia J. "The resource model and the principle of predictive coding: A framework for analyzing proximate effects of ritual" Religion, Brain, and Behavior 2013b Vol 3 1 79 86 [Crossref]
56. Sheehan P.W. "Countering preconceptions about hypnosis: An objective index of involvement with the hypnotist" Journal of Abnormal Psychology 1971 Vol 78 299 322 [Crossref]
57. Smart Ninian "Interpretations and mystical experience" Religious Studies 1965 Vol 1 1 75 87 [Crossref]
58. Spanos Nicholas P. , Radtke Lorraine H. , Hodgins David C. , Bertrand Lorne D. , Stam Henderikus J. , Moretti Patricia "The carleton university responsiveness to suggestion scale: Relationship with other measures of hypnotic susceptibility, expectancies and absorption" Psychological Reports 1983 Vol 53 723 734 [Crossref]
59. Spilka Bernard , Hood Ralph W. jr. , Hnsberger Bruce , Gorsuch Richard "Mysticism" The Psychology of Religion: An Empirical Approach 2003 New York The Guildord Press 290 340
60. Stace Walther T. Mysticism and Philosophy 1960 Hong Kong The Macmillan Press Ltd.
61. Swiney Lauren , Sousa Pablo "When our thoughts are not our own: Investigating agency misattributions using the mind-to-mind paradigm" Consciousness and Cognition 2013 Vol 22 589 602 [Crossref]
62. Taves Ann Religious Experience Reconsidered: A Building-Block Approach to the Study of Religion and Other Special Things 2009 New Jersey Princeton University Press
63. Thomas Eugene , Cooper Pamela E. "Measurement and incidence of mystical experiences: An exploratory study" Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 1978 Vol 17 4 433 437 [Crossref]
64. Wulff David M. Cardena E. , Lynn S.J. , Kripper S. "Mystical experience" Varieties of Anomalous Experience: Examining the Scientific Evidence 2002 Washington American Psychological Association 397 440
65. Zubeck John P. Sensory Deprivation: Fifty Years of Research 1969 New York Appleton-Centery-Crofts
http://brill.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1163/15700682-12341323
Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1163/15700682-12341323
2014-09-04
2018-06-25

Sign-in

Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
     
    Method & Theory in the Study of Religion — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation