Quantifying the phenomenology of ghostly episodes: Part II – A Rasch Model of spontaneous accounts

OKeeffe, Ciaran (2018) Quantifying the phenomenology of ghostly episodes: Part II – A Rasch Model of spontaneous accounts. Journal of Parapsychology. ISSN 0022-3387 (Submitted)

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Based on a sample of self-reported “spontaneous” accounts (ostensibly sincere and unprimed, N = 426), we calibrated a 32-item, Rasch-based “Survey of Strange Events (SSE)” to quantify the phenomenology of ghostly episodes while assessing response biases related to experients’ age or gender. This inventory included psychological experiences typical of haunts, and physical manifestations common to poltergeist-like disturbances. Results supported earlier suggestions that “spontaneous” accounts have a predictable (cumulative) behavior pattern and show a single factor structure. Further, compared to spontaneous accounts, we found strong response biases on the SSE across four control conditions (i.e., Lifestyle, Primed, Fantasy, and Illicit). Statistical modeling successfully predicted group memberships with good accuracy, corroborating that spontaneous experiences differ systematically in key ways from “impostors.” The SSE is a robust measure of overall intensity of ghostly episodes (Rasch reliability = 0.87) and serves as a standard operationalization of specific anomalies in surveys, fieldwork studies, and investigations that code free-response data or spontaneous case material for quantitative analysis.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: ghost, haunt, phenomenology, poltergeist, psychometrics, Rasch scaling
Depositing User: RED Unit Admin
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2019 13:55
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2020 11:10
URI: https://bnu.repository.guildhe.ac.uk/id/eprint/17642

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