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Br J Psychol. 2004 May;95(Pt 2):161-77.

A Rasch scaling validation of a 'core' near-death experience.

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Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, USA.


For those with true near-death experiences (NDEs), Greyson's (1983, 1990) NDE Scale satisfactorily fits the Rasch rating scale model, thus yielding a unidimensional measure with interval-level scaling properties. With increasing intensity, NDEs reflect peace, joy and harmony, followed by insight and mystical or religious experiences, while the most intense NDEs involve an awareness of things occurring in a different place or time. The semantics of this variable are invariant across True-NDErs' gender, current age, age at time of NDE, and latency and intensity of the NDE, thus identifying NDEs as 'core' experiences whose meaning is unaffected by external variables, regardless of variations in NDEs' intensity. Significant qualitative and quantitative differences were observed between True-NDErs and other respondent groups, mostly revolving around the differential emphasis on paranormal/mystical/religious experiences vs. standard reactions to threat. The findings further suggest that False-Positive respondents reinterpret other profound psychological states as NDEs. Accordingly, the Rasch validation of the typology proposed by Greyson (1983) also provides new insights into previous research, including the possibility of embellishment over time (as indicated by the finding of positive, as well as negative, latency effects) and the potential roles of religious affiliation and religiosity (as indicated by the qualitative differences surrounding paranormal/mystical/religious issues).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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