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Boletim - Academia Paulista de Psicologia

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MARALDI, Everton de Oliveira  and  ZANGARI, Wellington. "In trance": a quali-quantitative study on the role of dissociative and somatoform experiences for religious beliefs and rituals. Bol. - Acad. Paul. Psicol. [online]. 2015, vol.35, n.89, pp. 382-408. ISSN 1415-711X.

International research have been sustaining a correlation between dissociative experiences and religious beliefs or alleged paranormal experiences. In addition, such beliefs and experiences often correlate with other variables related to dissociation, as somatic complaints and childhood trauma. However, there is a scarcity of research in Brazil. The present study employs a quali-quantitative methodology, covering 1,450 respondents. Members from mediumistic religions, esoteric groups, and individuals with no defined membership do not differ in terms of cognitive dissociation, but score above atheists, agnostics, Catholics and Pentecostals. Mediumistic religions show significantly higher scores in somatoform dissociation (conversion and psychosomatic symptoms) compared to the other groups. The higher is the level of paranormal belief, dissociation and transliminality (a measure of mystical experiences and altered consciousness) of participants, the greater the reported level of religious syncretism and individual religiosity. There is no difference between groups for trauma reports in childhood. Dissociative experiences play a legitimizing role of religious and spiritual beliefs, especially in contexts influenced by new age syncretism, as they facilitate alterations in consciousness and the transition of daily life framework to religious frames of reference

Keywords : dissociation; religious experience; identity; belief.

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