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J Nerv Ment Dis. 2012 Apr;200(4):310-5. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e31824cb2ba.

Hallucination-like experiences in the nonclinical population.

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Department of Psychology, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy.


Unusual subjective experiences are relatively common in the general population and have been associated with an increased level of vulnerability to psychosis. The current study aimed to a) determine the distribution of hallucination-like experiences (HLEs) in a community sample of young adults, b) investigate their dimensional subtypes, and c) test the association of HLEs with indicators of poor mental health. Four hundred thirty-seven participants (men, 41%) completed a battery of questionnaires including the 16-item Launay-Slade Hallucination Scale (LSHS), the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) and the 21-item Peters et al. Delusions Inventory (PDI). The LSHS correlated significantly with GHQ-12 and PDI. Individuals with higher levels of psychological distress were found to report higher frequencies of the HLEs compared with those in the reference range. Exploratory factor analysis of LSHS produced a four-factor solution: a) "auditory and visual HLEs," b) "multisensory HLEs," c) "intrusive thoughts," and d) "vivid daydreams." The current results provide further support for the multidimensional nature of hallucination proneness in the general population and indicate that some HLEs (particularly those related to intrusiveness of thought) are associated with a lower level of perceived well-being.

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