The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Aulino and Colleagues Identify Two Factors in Experience of Otherwordly Phenomena

Felicity Aulino
Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Anthropology's Felicity Aulino and colleagues have identified two factors in experience of otherwordly phenomena.

Now an international, multi-disciplinary team of researchers including Felicity Aulino, assistant Five College professor of anthropology, has identified two attributes, porosity and absorption, that make individuals more likely to have these kinds of experiences. Over the course of four studies of more than 2,000 participants from many different religious traditions in the United States, Ghana, Thailand, China, and Vanuatu, Aulino and her team demonstrate the power of culture in combination with individual differences to shape something that we normally think of as a given – what feels real. Their findings are detailed in a study recently published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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