Opening the Doors of Perception: Priming Altered States of Consciousness Outside of Conscious Awareness

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Archive for the Psychology of Religion




Two studies are reported in which participants' reports of altered states of consciousness (ASC) were manipulated using priming methods. Study 1 used both subtle and blunt supraliminal priming methods, while Study 2 used a subliminal priming method. Across the two studies, two different methods for inducing ASC were used. In both studies a direct and an indirect measure of ASC was employed in order to separate the more nonconscious and spontaneous (indirect) from the more conscious and directive (direct) reports of ASC. As predicted, results indicated that the indirect measures of ASC were consistent with the ASC primes participants received. Implications and future research directions are discussed.