Hallucination in the General Population


Investigating the prevalence and types of hallucination-like experiences (HLEs) in a sample of 437 young adults, researchers in Italy, Belgium, the U.K. and Denmark found higher levels of psychological distress were associated with a higher frequency of HLEs. The authors suggest that the results “provide further support for the multidimensional nature of hallucination proneness in the general population and indicate that some HLEs (particularly those related to intrusiveness of thought) are associated with a lower level of perceived well-being.”  Results appear in the April 2012 issue of the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease.

Abstract →
 Related Articles:

Analysis of the multidimensionality of hallucination-like experiences in clinical and nonclinical Spanish samples and their relation to clinical symptoms: implications for the model of continuity International Journal of Psychology, Feb 1, 2011; 46(1): 46-54
From the abstract: “Overall, these results support the notion that hallucination-like experiences are closer to a quasi-continuum approach and that total scores on these scales explain a state of vulnerability to general perceptual disturbance.”

Demographic correlates of psychotic-like experiences in young Australian adults Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, September 2008, 118(3), 230-237
From the abstract: ”
From the abstract: “Psychotic-like experiences” are common in young adults. The mechanisms underpinning the age and gender gradients in PLE may provide clues to the pathogenesis of psychotic disorders.”

Misattribution of self-generated speech in relation to hallucinatory proneness and delusional ideation in healthy volunteers Schizophrenia Research, June 2006, 84(2-3) 281-288
From the abstract: “The misattribution of self-generated speech occurs in healthy individuals with high levels of psychotic-like experiences. This suggests that the same cognitive impairments may underlie psychotic phenomena in healthy individuals as in patients with psychotic disorders, consistent with a continuum model of psychosis.”




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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].