Interpreting the Anomalous: Finding Meaning in Out-of-Body and Near-Death Experiences

Wilde, D. and Murray, C.D., 2010. Interpreting the Anomalous: Finding Meaning in Out-of-Body and Near-Death Experiences. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 7 (1), pp. 57-72. ISSN 1478-0887

PubSub3744_Wilde.pdf - Post-print

Download (314kB) | Preview


Much contemporary research on anomalous experiences has been focused on issues of confirming the authenticity of the phenomena, or to determine the underlying processes by which these phenomena may manifest themselves. This research has largely been nomothetic in nature relying mainly on laboratory experiments and/or questionnaire surveys. Yet, traditionally, there exists a third strand of exploration in this field of study–phenomenological research–which in recent times has been somewhat overlooked in this field of work. In an attempt to redress this shortcoming, the authors propose the use of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) to research anomalous experience. IPA possesses strong theoretical and philosophical underpinnings and a focus on describing and interpreting the process, intricacy and novelty of personal experience. The authors argue therefore that IPA appears ideally suited as a method of qualitative investigation to address important fundamental research questions posed by the study of anomalous experiences. By examining in-depth the experience and meaning of these critical life events, IPA research findings can better furnish psychologists and health care professionals with information to further appreciate and understand their clients’ experiences and to help them with any potential personality transformations or psycho-spiritual crises that may arise after the event.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Qualitative Research in Psychology
Creators: Wilde, D. and Murray, C.D.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Date: 2010
Volume: 7
Number: 1
ISSN: 1478-0887
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 16 Nov 2015 16:30
Last Modified: 24 Aug 2016 10:29

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View


Views per month over past year


Downloads per month over past year