Scientists identify why few people claim to ‘hear’ the voices of the dead

Fareeha Arshad

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Researchers have gathered enough evidence to figure out why some people claim to ‘hear’ the dead people. According to a 2021 study published in the journal Mental Health, Religion and Culture, researchers believe several factors influence this trait.

For starters, people who tend to be highly focused while working, have strange auditory experiences as a child, and frequent auditory hallucinations are more prone to hearing unusual voices that generally most people cannot hear.

This study thus will pave a pathway to a better understanding of mental conditions like psychosis. In addition, scientists are curious why many people find this condition upsetting and thus undergo mental health diagnoses like schizophrenia, while some people refer to ‘hearing’ the dead as truly a ‘spiritual’ experience. As per the psychologist Peter Moseley of Northumbria University, people who refer to themselves as the Spiritualists experience ‘voices of the dead’ early on in their lives and, therefore, can control their response to such situations.

In this study conducted by the Northumbria University and Durham University, researchers surveyed the Spiritualists from the UK’s Spiritualists’ National Union and a few people from the general public, who usually do not ‘hear’ the voices of the dead. The researchers concluded that the Spiritualists generally believed that they heard the voices of the dead and rarely considered how people viewed them.

Most such Spiritualists first started hearing the voices at a young age, about an average of 21. The researchers also reported that such people often wholly immersed themselves in their daily activities and would entirely space out from the people around them. Furthermore, such people were recorded to experience hallucinations. In addition, scientists concluded that those people were more prone to adapting to Spiritualism, who were looking for answers and found Spiritualism particularly meaningful.

Regardless, further studies remain to be done to understand the cultural context of adapting Spiritualism and what external factors in their lifestyle connect them to the dead.

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I am a scientist by profession and a historian by passion. I write about current affairs, history, science, and lifestyle.

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