Uncertainty in a sensory deprived environment triggers the feeling of another person’s presence

In a paper published in Religion, Brain & Behavior, J. Nenadalová & D. Řezníček demonstrated that some study participants in a sensory-deprived laboratory environment sensed the presence of another person. This feeling was mostly associated with perceived uncertainty and only somewhat associated with psychological dispositions.

6 Mar 2024

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People often experience a feeling that someone or something might lurk in the dark. But what exactly is going on psychologically? Jana and Dan combined questionnaires, physiological signals, and semi-structured interviews in a laboratory experiment to explore how Czech university students and absolvents react to being placed in a dark room, while being primed with the information that someone may enter the room. The authors observed that while uncertainty was positively associated with the feeling of presence, experimental priming showed no clear associations, and the associations with psychological dispositions were mixed.




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