In a recent study, researchers might have gained new insights into the reason why some people believe that they can ‘hear the dead’. The research is based on the largest-of-its-kind survey of the general population and such specialist mediums.
Conducted by the researchers at Durham University, the new study has now been published in the journal Mental Health, Religion and Culture. The research paper is a result of an eight-year long study conducted under the project name ‘Hearing the Voice.’
The research meant to observe clairaudient communications in subjects, meaning those who say that they can “hear” spirits. In contrast, clairvoyant means “seeing” and clairsentient means “feeling” such spirits around one.
The research concludes that such spiritualists who tend to hear spirits have “a strong leaning towards absorption,” a release by the University explains. Absorption is a trait linked to altered states of consciousness and the practice of immersing in mental or imaginative activities.
The research also points out that many who experience hearing such voices are often introduced to spiritualist beliefs early in life. This happens in pursuit of the meaning behind the unexplained occurrences.
Such mediums are also less concerned about the opinions of others, the study found. It also mentioned that the mediums are more prone to unusual visual and auditory experiences than other members of the general public.
In the research, the authors recorded eighteen percent of the participants to have clairaudient experiences ‘for as long as they could remember’. Meanwhile, seventy-one percent had not encountered spiritualism prior to their first experience.
Spiritualism has been defined in the study as a religious movement based on the concept of souls inhabiting human bodies, that continue to exist after death and can communicate with the living through a medium. The study explains that such spiritualist mediums are possibly more prone to immersive mental activities and unusual auditory experiences early on in life.
The authors of the study highlight that the understanding of such experiences is important to help us tackle distressing or non-controllable experiences of hearing voices.