Structural Relationships Among Mental Boundaries, Childhood Imaginary Companions, Creative Experiences, and Entity Encounters

Kenneth Drinkwater, Neil Dagnall, James Houran, Andrew Denovan, Ciarán O'Keeffe

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This study investigated relationships between thin mental boundary functioning, creativity, imaginary companions (ICs), and anomalous '(entity) encounter experiences.' A convenience sample of 389 respondents completed the Revised Transliminality Scale, Oxford-Liverpool Inventory of Feelings and Experiences, Creative Experiences Questionnaire, Survey of Strange Events, and a measure of Childhood Imaginary Companions. Competing testing with path analysis found that the best-fitting model was consistent with the causal chain of 'Thin Boundaries (transliminality and schizotypy) → Creative Experiences → ICs → (Entity) Encounter Experiences.' These results suggest that deep-types of ICs (i.e., showing apparent independent agency) are perhaps most accurately characterized as syncretic cognitions versus hallucination-like experiences. The authors examine these findings relative to study limitations, as well as discussing the need for future research that approaches ICs as a special mental state that can facilitate allied altered-anomalous experiences. In this context, this study furthered understanding of relationships between conscious states related to mental boundaries, childhood imaginary companions, creative experiences, and entity encounters.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychological Reports
Early online date22 Aug 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Aug 2022

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