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Anomalous Experiences, Mental Health, and Creativity: Is Psi the Missing Link?

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This study explores the complex relationships between anomalous experiences, mental health, creativity, and psi within a sample of 113 visual artists in three art schools. The main objective was to assess whether psi could play a role in the emergence of anomalous experiences and their association with mental health and creativity. Participants took part in a retro-priming task, already used by Bem (2011) to assess unconscious precognitive abilities. They then completed three questionnaires evaluating anomalous experiences (AEI), mental health (SCL), and creativity (CCI). The results show no significant effect on the retro-priming task, but the number of anomalous experiences reported by each participant was significantly correlated with their retro-priming performance (rs = 0.24, p < 0.01). Creativity did not correlate with retro-priming, except for one subscale, the use of analogies (rs = 0.26, p = 0.007). Anomalous experiences as a whole were correlated with mental health and creativity, in keeping with the high rate of unusual experiences previously reported in artistic populations. The theoretical implication of these findings and possible directions for future studies are discussed.

Keywords: anomalous experiences; creativity; mental health; precognition; priming; psi; retro-priming; unconscious anticipation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Psychology, University of Nancy, 23 Boulevard Albert Premier, 54000 Nantes, France, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: January 1, 2018

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