Citation: Kelly, T.M. (2014). Classification & Statistical Manual of Extrasensory Experiences. Copyright © 2014 Theresa M. Kelly, MsD. Interested professionals are welcome to Download a Complimentary Copy of the CSM-EE. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
The psychic phenomena in this section include Generalized Clairvoyance, Clairvoyant Cognition, Clairvoyant Interaction, and Clairvoyant Simulation. These phenomena have been grouped together to facilitate differential classification of phenomena that include Clairvoyance as a prominent aspect of the experience. The term clairvoyance has historically received numerous definitions, none of which is universally accepted across both the scientific and religious/spiritual communities. The shortest scientific definition of clairvoyance is “a form of extrasensory perception.”
A slightly more detailed definition describes clairvoyance as “the phenomenologically indirect knowledge of another person’s thoughts or mental states” (Braude, 1978), or historically as “the knowledge of objects or states gained without the use of the known senses” (Myers, 1903). In more detail, clairvoyance is defined as a “paranormal acquisition of information concerning an object or con-temporary physical event; in contrast to telepathy, the information is assumed to derive directly from an external physical source (such as a concealed photograph), and not from the mind of another person” (Thalbourne, 2003).
In this section, clairvoyance is defined as the “psychical influence of a hypothetical objective environment, universal information sys-tem, or Nature, which is assumed capable of storing, retaining, and recalling information pertaining to the past and current states of people, objects, and events; involved in the interim integration, processing, shifting, and retrieval of information pertaining to people, objects, and events in real-time, and probabilistically determining the potential trajectory of future events” (Kelly, 2011b). Clairvoyance is presumed possible through the act of an experient requesting and receiving information pertaining to past events via the systems “long-term information storage,” or pertaining to real-time events via the systems “working memory” or “short-term information storage.”
Information pertaining to future events may be the result of Natures computational capabilities of relative causal knowledge encompassing deterministic and random variables, which may be stored by Nature and retrievable by the experient. Nature appears to capture, retain, and store information, and this information can be requested by an experient in which is then conveyed intuitively and in the form of sensory hallucinations, primarily through the visual and auditory modalities. These hallucinations can also occur in other sensory modalities including olfaction, gustatory, and somatosensory.
In addition, clairvoyance includes “anomalous communication with immaterial entities most commonly referred to as apparitions (e.g. ghosts) or spirit guides, which are believed to have a form of consciousness and element of personality” (Kelly, 2001b). Assuming thought to be the basis of consciousness, this form of communication is assumed to require specific mental processes, which experients utilize for non-local thought transference between the experient and an immaterial entity. These thoughts appear to be transferred through intuitive, or emotional, modes or through several hallucinatory sensory modes including visual, auditory, olfaction, gustatory, and somatosensory modalities. (Kelly, 2011b).
These specifiers should only be used when all criteria for the type of a subtype are currently met. In deciding whether reported experiences should be described as stable/functional, mild, moderate, or severe, the clinician should take into account the number and intensity of the experiences and any resulting impairment in occupational or social functioning.
A. Stable/Functional. Intentional experiences of which fit all criteria with few, if any, spontaneous experiences and of which result in no impairment in social or occupational functioning and may or may not increase normal functioning.
B. Mild. Few experiences of which fit all criteria and experiences result in no more than minor impairment in social or occupational functioning.
C. Moderate. Experiences and functional impairment between “mild” and “severe” are present.
D. Severe. Many experiences of which fit all criteria, either episodic or continuous, of which result in marked impairment in social or occupational functioning.
Associated Research and Laboratory Findings
No laboratory findings have been identified that are diagnostic of clairvoyance. However, a variety of measures from neuroimaging, neuropsychological, and neurophysiological studies have shown differences between groups of individuals with clairvoyance and appropriately matched control subjects. According to Williams & Roll (2000), in studies examining the correlation between clairvoyant scoring and alpha abundance, positive correlations have been found except in precognitive designs, where negative correlations have been found. In one study examining correlations between clairvoyant scoring and changes in alpha frequency and amplitude, positive correlations have been found, but further independent replication is needed. In studies examining the correlation clairvoyant scoring and the effects of alpha feedback training, negative correlations have been found. There have been several studies examining the correlation between clairvoyant scoring and other types of brain waves (e.g. gamma and beta), but further studies with broad-spectrum EEG are required to determine which types to what degree.
In experimental studies examining the precognitive response at an unconscious level (i.e. presentiment), changes in brain activity preceding the onset of emotional stimuli consists of voltage changes across the cortex, which were found in ERP studies, and changes in blood oxygenation in the areas involved in the processing of the associated sensory stimuli, which were found in fMRI studies. Predictions have been made that the right hemisphere may be psi-conducive while the left hemisphere may be psi-inhibitive. While the evidence for this prediction is not definitive, most relevant studies suggest that the right hemisphere is most associated, and may even be exclusively associated, with clairvoyant experience. EEG studies on two notable psychics suggest right hemisphere processing, the right medial and superior parietal lobes, but additional brain wave measurement and imaging studies need to be conducted with other notable psychics to make any further determinations.
Numerous studies have implicated the temporal lobe as the region that shapes extrasensory experience. One study has found that individuals with temporal lobe dysfunction reported more extrasensory (psi experiences in general) experiences than other patients. Three studies involving mediums and psychics found elevated temporal lobe signs. Predictions have been made that the hippocampus and amygdala are activated during extrasensory experiences be-cause (1) numerous studies have indicated that extrasensory response consists of implicit emotional memories in which correspond to a perceived object, and (2) memory and emotion are processed by these regions. Another prediction is that precognition and retrocognition may activate the medial temporal regions of the brain. Further brain regions that may be associated with extrasensory experience are the occipital lobe and the parietal lobe.
A 13 year experiment by Kolodziejzyk (2012), utilizing a unique approach to associative remote viewing (ARV) with a total of 5,677 ARV trials, yielded a statistically significant score. Most of the project questions utilized focused on predicting the outcome of a given futures market, making this a remote viewing/precognitive experimental design. According to Radin (2006), in two experiments investigating EEG correlations in separated pairs of individuals utilizing a protocol of photic stimulation and EEG measurements, one of which involved two identical twins, followed by 10 replications, 8 of the studies were reported positive. Many replications followed over the years, with one team concluding that the phenomenon could not be easily dismissed and no biophysical mechanism known could account for the correlations.
A further replication, where the subject was placed in an fMRI scanner and the agent in a distant room, they found a highly significant increase in brain activity in the subject’s visual cortex while the agent was viewing a flickering light. However, while the experiment’s design was intended to be telepathic, a prestimulus or “presponse” (i.e. physiological activity before the stimulus) has been found in the subject during experiments suggesting a telepathy/clairvoyance (presentiment) design. This “presponse” can also be found in experiments by Radin (2000), where skin conductance changes before, during, and after the presentation of randomly selected emotional and calm pictures, where larger average arousal levels are found during the period before the display of emotional pictures as compared to before calm pictures.
In a study by McCraty et al. (2004), and in two different experiments conducted by Sartori, Massaccesi, Martinelli, & Tressoldi (2004), there were reports of presentiment in experiments utilizing skin-conductance, heart rate, and EEG measures. The former experiment was positive in regard to skin conductance, though not significant, and found that heart rate significantly slowed prior to an emotional stimulus, that women performed better than men, and that the brain responded in a different manner prior to emotional and calm stimuli. In the latter two experiments, rather than emotionally evoking pictures, this method involved the presentation of targets and non-targets. In the first experiment (general clairvoyant design) and second experiment (precognition/presentiment design), results were significant where heart rate associated with targets increased significantly compared to non-targets, but the mean of correct hits was close to chance expectation.
According to Radin (2000), in another type of precognitive/presentiment experiment, involving reaction time and contingent negative variation (CNV), a slow brainwave indicator of anticipation was utilized to unconsciously detect a stimulus that would randomly appear in the future. The results were highly significant just before the target stimulus appeared. In a triple-blind study by Beischel & Schwartz (2007), examining the anomalous reception of information about deceased individuals by research mediums, results were highly significant compared to control. According to Spottiswoode (1990), laboratory experiments involving a remote viewing design revealed a negative correlation between scores in contemporaneous clairvoyant perception and geomagnetic fluctuations (i.e. that scores were higher during times when the electromagnetic activity of the earth was lowest. This negative correlation was not found for precognition or retro/postcognition. Variations in the GMF field were indicated by the ap geomagnetic index.
Specific Culture, Age, and Gender Features
Clinicians assessing beliefs and claims in socioeconomic or cultural situations that are dissimilar from their own must take cultural dissimilarities into account. Ideas that may appear to be questionable or even delusional in one culture or subculture (e.g. Buddhists, New Agers, Spiritualists, Wiccan Practitioners, and those who engage in regular meditative practices) may be commonly believed in another. In some cultures, clairvoyant hallucinations with a spiritual or religious content may be a normal part of spiritual or religious experience (e.g. the sensing of a loved one after they have passed on, mothers intuition; especially in a precognitive context where a foreknowledge of danger is perceived; or the emotional arousal associated with experiencing the Holy Spirit). These varying beliefs may have subtle to bla-tant differences in terminology and descriptions leaving the clinician with the difficult task of properly categorizing experiences into parapsychological types and subtypes.
In regard to physical location, in a study conducted by Haraldsson & Houtkooper (1991), individuals in the U.S. reported clairvoyance experiences 25%, and contact with the dead 30%. In European nations surveyed, with clairvoyance experiences listed first and contact with the dead listed second, Italy reported 39% | 34%, France re-ported 24% | 24%, West Germany reported 17% | 28%, and Finland reported 15% | 14%, with Great Britain, Spain, and Belgium each re-porting 14% for clairvoyant experiences and in order of listing 26%, 16%, 18% for contact with the dead. The lowest percentages were found in Sweden, Norway, and Iceland with only 7% reporting clairvoyant experiences each, with in order of listing 14%, 9%, 41% re-porting contact with the dead, putting Iceland in the lead for the higher percentage of reporting contact with the dead.
Initial experiences (onset) of clairvoyant phenomena typically occur within the first several years after birth and/or during puberty. Early onset may involve several spontaneous experiences of which may or may not affect the child psychologically, emotionally, or socially. Experiences in which have an early onset and continue throughout life without extended pause (e.g. one year or more without an experience) typically remain stable/functional in the long term. In some generalized ESP experiments, children tend to score higher than adolescents and adults. However, many similar studies have been unsuccessful in in demonstrating age dependent differences in scoring (Palmer, 1978). According to Blackmore (1980), “Although many studies show high scoring in children there is little systematic evidence of a relationship between ESP and age and there are many contradictory findings.”
The onset of clairvoyant phenomena during puberty, most common between the ages of 13-16, is typically induced to compensate for an inability to effectively communicate their wants, needs, and/or thoughts verbally to other individuals, or lack individuals in their life that could properly meet their needs. Experients may feel they have had a recent decline in quality of life, academic performance, and/or social relationships. During this time experiences are typically spontaneous, and can range from mild to severe depending on the severity of needs the experient feels they are unable to communicate and obtain. Experiences in which are moderate to severe have a high probability of continuing in severity unless the want or needs of the adolescent are met.
Onset during this age rage may also be induced by another individual unwilling to meet the experients wants or needs, or the adolescent’s general environment may be unaccommodating in some manner. In other words, the experient is communicating effectively, but the recipient does not understand effectively (e.g. a parent that does not understand a child’s limitations due to physical or mental illness), or simply refuses to meet the experient’s needs (e.g. a bully at school, or an abusive or neglectful parental figure), or the experient is able to communicate effectively, but the resources required are not being made available (e.g. food, shelter, clothing, etc.)
Adult onset may occur at any age and is typically precipitated by and inability to verbally communicate wants, needs, or thoughts, physically acquirer wants or needs, possess a desire to continue a connection with a deceased individual, deepen a mental and emotional connection with another individual(s) (e.g. an individual in the experient’s life or a type of individual the experient wants in their life). Adult onset is typically stable/functional to mild unless precipitated by experiences that amount to trauma, illness, or any other type of sudden uncomplimentary experience, acute or chronic, that results in a major disturbance in the experient’s life. In the case of the latter, moderate to severe experiences are typically common. Spontaneous experiences are common regardless of the severity. However, stable/functional to mild experiences are more likely to be the product of intention, while moderate to severe experiences are mainly spontaneous.
Gender differences have been the focus of some studies. Over-all, there appears to be no clear trend for differential scoring be-tween males and females (Palmer, 1978), and if gender differences are found, they tend to be slight with women reporting clairvoyant experiences more than men, men reporting clairvoyant experience more than women, or no difference between gender reporting was found. However, strong differences have been found in reports of contact with the dead In Europe, 30% of women and only 20% of men report this type of communication, while in the U.S., the difference is 34% for women and 25% for men (Haraldsson & Houtkooper, 1991).
Occasionally one biological parent or grandparent of an experient of clairvoyant phenomena reports a history of clairvoyant-like experiences. Familial patterns most common are clairvoyant experiences between mother and child, spouses/lovers, identical twins, and occasionally between fraternal twins, siblings, and meditation partners. In regard to marital status in Europe and the U.S., relatively fewer single and married individuals report contact with the dead then the “combined broken relationship group” (i.e. living as married, separated, divorced, or widowed), with clairvoyant experiences having a similar effect, but to a lesser extent (Haraldsson & Houtkooper, 1991).
Emotional content. Experients of Clairvoyance in which primarily sense emotional content, but still receive more than emotional content on occasion, may use the following terminology: clair-empathic ● clair-empathy ● empath ● empathic ● empathist ● empathy ● gut feeling ● intuition ● intuitionism ● intuitive ● intuitvism ● keen intuition ● presentiment ● mothers intuition ● sensitive.
Visual content. Experients of clairvoyance in which primarily sense visual content may use the following terminology: auras ● clairvoyant ● clairvoyance ● medical intuition ● medium ● mediumship ● precognition ● precognitive ● postcognition ● postcognitive ● psipath ● psipathic ● psychic ● remote viewer ● remote viewing ● retrocognitive ● retrocognition ● premonition ● psychometric ● psychometry.
Additional terminology. Used in a context involving the experient and a person, object, discarnate, entity, or location/environment, including both clairvoyance and clairvoyance-like terminology: aha! moment ● angel ● anomalous communication ● audible thoughts ● augar ● augury ● channeller ● channeling ● deceased ● discarnate ● distance healing ● divination ● diviner ● eureka effect ● fortune teller ● guardian angel ● ghost ● ghost whisperer ● haruspex ● holy spirit ● insight ● intention ● intention healing ● magic ● magick ● miracle ● oracle ● palm reader ● prayer ● prayer fulfillment ● prayer healing ● predictor ● probability shifting ● prophesier ● prophet ● psychic communication ● psychic knowledge ● second sight ● seer ● shaman ● shamanic ● sibyl ● six sense ● soothsayer ● spell casting ● spirit ● spirit guide ● spiritualist ● visionary ● wish fulfillment.
Criteria for Clairvoyant Experiences
A. Characteristic phenomenology: all of the following are required criteria for clairvoyance.
1) Mind-to-environment/nature (including information about a person), mind-to-object, or mind-to-entity communication/effect.
2) Involves one or more environments, objects, entities, or indirect (about) information pertaining to a person’s situation.
3) The source of the information is not a living organism (i.e. the source is the environment/nature, a discarnate entity, or other entity), but information can be obtained, or probability influenced, pertaining to a living organism’s situation (e.g. health, environment, current events).
B. Social/occupational need: A subconscious need has been identified as the catalyst for the initiation of clairvoyant processes; i.e. (1) identified an inability to communicate wants, needs, or thoughts to an individual in an interpersonal, academic, or occupational context, (2) inability to acquire physical necessities, (3) desire to continue a connection between themselves and a discarnate entity, or (4) need for in-formation not readily accessible though natural means, etc.
C. Validation: The experience has been validated by an individual other than the experient (e.g. a sitter [an individual in which asks a psychic medium to contact a discarnate entity on their behalf reports ac-curacy in intermediated information], or news report, etc.), and the clinician determines the experience was more than a coincidence/chance occurrence based on the quality of the information received and reported, and all other possible explanations for obtaining the information is excluded. If validation does not apply, yet clairvoyant processes are still plausible, the experience should be classified as “Possible Clairvoyance” (PC).
D. Empathy Exclusion: Psychical empathy has been ruled out because more than emotional content is involved in the experience(s).
E. Telepathy Exclusion: Telepathy has been ruled out because mind-to-mind communication is not the basis of the experience(s).
The subtypes of clairvoyance are defined by the predominant phenomenology of reports. The determination of a particular subtype is based on the clinical picture that occasioned the most recent experiences, and may therefore change over time. Not infrequently, the description of experiences may include phenomena that are characteristic of more than one subtype. The choice among subtypes depends on the following algorithm: Clairvoyant Cognition (CC) is as-signed whenever information is clairvoyantly acquired by the experient originating from an environment, object, entity or about an individual; Clairvoyant Interaction (CI) is assigned whenever information is clairvoyantly acquired/conveyed through a medium in a trance state by an entity and of which involves automatism(s) to some degree; Clairvoyant Simulation (CS) is assigned whenever an accommodating/shifting effect is initiated by the experient or the experient’s environment; If two or three subtypes are assigned, all should be listed; Generalized Clairvoyance (GC) is assigned when all subtypes appear to apply (optional), or a clear choice is unable to be made, but appears to only suggest clairvoyant phenomena. In addition, when a clear choice cannot be made, the clinician should consider a dimensional approach to classifying the experiences.
The following are links to more information on phenomenological subgroups exclusive to clairvoyance.
Citation: Kelly, T.M. (2014). Classification & Statistical Manual of Extrasensory Experiences. Copyright © 2014 Theresa M. Kelly, MsD. Interested professionals are welcome to download a complimentary copy of the CSM-EE. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.