DOI: 10.14704/nq.2011.9.1.392

Ensuring Homogeneous Data Collection for Present and Future Research on Possible Psi Phenomena by Detailing Subjective Descriptions, Using the Multi-Axial A to Z SEATTLE Classification

Vernon M. Neppe


Spontaneous apparently anomalous experiences are often inappropriately bundled together based on brief common descriptions. Yet, they may be phenomenologically and etiologically distinct. Consequently, heterogeneous results lead to mistaken pooling of dissimilar events, incorrect implying single etiologies, though actually reflecting different phenomenological types (e.g., “out-of-body experiences” induced by brain stimulation in epileptic patients compared with spontaneous events in “subjective paranormal experients”). This paper attempts to motivate researchers to apply detailed multi-axial evaluations of spontaneous, experimental and induced anomalous experiences. It presents a new “Subjective Experience of Anomalous Trait Typology Evaluation (SEATTLE)” classification. Modeled on the American Psychiatric Association’s successful multi-axial Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) psychopathology classification, the SEATTLE applies 26 detailed phenomenological descriptive levels (A-Z) (Specific, General and Interpretative subclassifications).The same valuable approach can be successfully applied to consciousness studies, parapsychological research, and to all subjective or objective spontaneous, induced, or experimental biopsychophysical phenomena. This implies a conceptual shift away from the attempted, and at times, impossible objectification of parapsychological phenomena (or psi), to the detailed analysis of specific characteristics and events based on detailed multisystems of ethicobiopsychofamiliosociocultural, anatomicophysiological, and biopsychophysical models that allow for applying detailed criteria and descriptions. This non-prejudicial approach of examining spontaneous and experimental "subjective paranormal / psi experiences" (SPEs) makes ostensible but unverified psi phenomena and relative non-local consciousness easier to tame and far less threatening. The shift in emphasis is from objectification and verification of paranormal phenomena to commonalities of, e.g., specific cerebral function. Locating a correlative brain area or mechanism or chemical for processing of such subjective experiences becomes a legitimate alternative correlative approach to conceptualize psi. By such means, SPEs, such as those involving hallucinations, delusions, déjà vu, and temporal lobs symptomatology can be measured and scientifically phenomenologically subtyped. This detailing of anomalistic psychology research, has allowed the author to extend the discipline of parapsychology from the objective approach into a related discipline, phenomenological parapsychology.


Subjective Experience of Anomalous Trait Typology Evaluation, déjà vu, multidimensional scaling, Anomaly, Heuristic, Intention, Neurophysiological, Psychiatric / Psychological, Questionnaires

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