Track: New Horizons in Science and Cosmology
Anomalous Experiences: A Rediscovery
Anomalous - or Exceptional - Experiences (AEs) such as mystical, near-death, psi-related, shamanic, and other experiences, have been a part of human history from its inception. They can be defined as experiences that are uncommon (such as synesthesia) or depart from a particular culture's conception of reality (such as psi-related experiences in mainstream contemporary Western culture). Research has shown that they are not intrinsically related to psychopathology and many founders of psychology were keenly interested in their study, although they later fell out of favor. AEs have had a substantial impact in many branches of knowledge including the sciences and the humanities, are not as uncommon as often thought, and provide alternative views of the self and reality that need to be evaluated on their own merits. In this presentation I will provide an overview of the psychology of AEs and what it can tell us about personality, psychopathology, human potentials and, more arguably, the nature of reality.
Etzel Cardeña holds the endowed Thorsen Chair in psychology at Lund University, Sweden, where he directs the Center for Research on Consciousness and Anomalous Psychology. His areas of research include extraordinary/anomalous experiences (including ostensible psi phenomena), dissociation and acute posttraumatic reactions, hypnosis (neurophenomenology) and the stream of consciousness. Born in México, where he is licensed as a clinical psychologist, he has a Ph. D. from UCDavis and was a scholar at Stanford. He has been faculty at Georgetown University and The University of Texas-Pan American (UT), where he was Department Chair. A fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Studies, his work has garnered awards from the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation, the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, UT, and others. He was a consultant on the dissociative disorders for the DSM-IV, DSM-5, and ICD, and has delivered keynote speeches and workshops in four continents. His more than 300 scientific publications, some of them in top journals in psychology and psychiatry include Varieties of Anomalous Experience, Altering Consciousness: A Multidisciplinary Perspective,and Parapsychology: A Handbook for the 21st Century. He is also the artistic director of the International Theatre of Malmö.