Does religious belief enable positive interpretation of auditory hallucinations? A comparison of religious voice hearers with and without psychosis

  title={Does religious belief enable positive interpretation of auditory hallucinations? A comparison of religious voice hearers with and without psychosis},
  author={Samantha Cottam and Shailendra Nath Paul and Olivia Doughty and Laura M. Carpenter and A. Al-Mousawi and S Karvounis and D. John Done},
  journal={Cognitive Neuropsychiatry},
  pages={403 - 421}
Introduction. Hearing voices occurs in people without psychosis. Why hearing voices is such a key pathological feature of psychosis whilst remaining a manageable experience in nonpsychotic people is yet to be understood. We hypothesised that religious voice hearers would interpret voices in accordance with their beliefs and therefore experience less distress. Methods. Three voice hearing groups, which comprised: 20 mentally healthy Christians, 15 Christian patients with psychosis, and 14… 
The Stigma of Voice-Hearing Experiences: Religiousness and Voice-Hearing Contents Matter
Extensive research confirms that people with psychotic disorders suffer high levels of social stigma on average. However, psychotic-like experiences show incredible diversity and cannot reasonably be
Public understanding of different kinds of voice-hearing experiences: Causal beliefs, perceptions of mental illness, and stigma.
Voice-hearing experiences elicited greater stigma from participants who endorsed greater likelihood that the voice-hearer was mentally ill, greater belief in biological causes of the voice, negative religious causes, psychosocial causes, socialization causes, and causes related to personal responsibility.
Hearing Voices, Demonic and Divine
Experiences of hearing the voice of God (or angels, demons, or other spiritual beings) have generally been understood either as religious experiences or else as a feature of mental illness. Some
Cognitive biases and auditory verbal hallucinations in healthy and clinical individuals
Most cognitive biases prevalent in clinical voice-hearers, particularly with threatening events themes, are absent in healthy voice- hearers, apart from emotional reasoning which may be specifically related to the vulnerability to develop AVH.
Spirituality and hearing voices: considering the relation
The specific role of spirituality in voice-hearing is considered in two ways, moving beyond an essentialist position to examine how such a classification is likely to be fluid, and how a given voice may move between these designations.
Stigma and need for care in individuals who hear voices
  • R. P. Vilhauer
  • Medicine, Psychology
    The International journal of social psychiatry
  • 2017
The literature reviewed suggests that stigma has the potential to increase need for care through many interrelated pathways, however, the ability to draw definitive conclusions was constrained by the designs of the studies reviewed.
Religiosity in young adolescents with auditory vocal hallucinations
Changing Attitudes Towards Voice Hearers: A Literature Review
Evidence supports the use of anti-stigma interventions based around direct contact with voice hearers and education about voice hearing, in populations of healthcare professionals, students, and the general public.
The Impact of Spirituality and Trauma on Appraisals of Psychotic-Like Experiences
The Impact of Spirituality and Trauma on Appraisals of Psychotic-Like Experiences By: Kathleen S. Isaac Advisor: Deidre Anglin, Ph.D. Background: A substantial portion of the general population (2.5%


The relationship between trauma and beliefs about hearing voices: a study of psychiatric and non-psychiatric voice hearers
The results suggest that beliefs about voices may be at least partially understood in the context of traumatic life events.
Affective reactions to auditory hallucinations in psychotic, evangelical and control groups.
The most recent experience of hearing voices was rated more positively than the first experience by the psychotic and religious groups but not by the control group, and these findings were much stronger for affective reactions to the experiences than for perceptions of the voices.
The Omnipotence of Voices
It is shown that highly disparate relationships with voices-fear, reassurance, engagement and resistance-reflect vital differences in beliefs about the voices, and how these core beliefs about voices may become a new target for treatment.
Hearing Voices in a Non-Psychiatric Population
It lends support to the idea that voice hearing occurs on a continuum, with evidence that many people hear voices in the general population and are not distressed by the experience.
Cognitive assessment of voices: further developments in understanding the emotional impact of voices.
Compared to the previous study, current participants were significantly less likely to believe in the omnipotence of their voices, to view their voices as omniscient and to have a positive affective response to benevolent voices.
The omnipotence of voices: testing the validity of a cognitive model.
The study found support for the cognitive model and therapeutic approach, which centre around the possibility that voice beliefs develop as part of an adaptive process to the experience of voices, and are underpinned by core beliefs about the individuals self-worth and interpersonal schemata.
Auditory hallucinations: a comparison between patients and nonpatients.
The form and the content of chronic auditory hallucinations were compared in three cohorts, namely patients with schizophrenia, patients with a dissociative disorder, and nonpatient voice-hearers to present evidence that the form of the hallucinations experienced by both patient and non patient groups is similar, irrespective of diagnosis.
Spiritual Experience and Psychopathology
A recent study of the relationship between spiritual experience and psychopathology (reported in detail elsewhere) suggested that psychotic phenomena could occur in the context of spiritual
Toward an integration of spirituality and religiousness into the psychosocial dimension of schizophrenia.
The results suggest that the complexity of the relationship between religion and illness requires a highly sensitive approach to each unique story and religion should be integrated into the psychosocial dimension of care.
The revised Beliefs About Voices Questionnaire (BAVQ-R).
The revised Beliefs About Voices Questionnaire (BAVQ-R) is more reliable and sensitive to individual differences than the original version, and reliably measures omnipotence.