Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Can Hearing Voices In Your Head Be A Good Thing?

Date:
September 14, 2006
Source:
University of Manchester
Summary:
Psychologists have launched a study to find out why some people who hear voices in their head consider it a positive experience while others find it distressing.

Psychologists have launched a study to find out why some people who hear voices in their head consider it a positive experience while others find it distressing.

The University of Manchester investigation -- announced on World Hearing Voices Day (Thursday, 14th September) -- comes after Dutch researchers found that many healthy members of the population there regularly hear voices.

Although hearing voices has traditionally been viewed as 'abnormal' and a symptom of mental illness, the Dutch findings suggest it is more widespread than previously thought, estimating that about 4% of the population could be affected.

Researcher Aylish Campbell said: "We know that many members of the general population hear voices but have never felt the need to access mental health services; some experts even claim that more people hear voices and don't seek psychiatric help than those who do.

"In fact, many of those affected describe their voices as being a positive influence in their lives, comforting or inspiring them as they go about their daily business. We're now keen to investigate why some people respond in this way while others are distressed and seek outside help."

Although the voices heard by psychiatric patients and members of the general population seem to be of the same volume and frequency, the former group tend to interpret the voices as more distressing and negative.

The team believes that external factors such as a person's life experiences and beliefs may be the key to these differences: for example, the presence of childhood trauma or negative beliefs about themselves could have an affect.

"If a person is struggling to overcome a trauma or views themselves as worthless or vulnerable, or other people as aggressive, they may be more likely to interpret their voices as harmful, hostile or powerful," said Aylish.

"Conversely, a person who has had more positive life experiences and formed more healthy beliefs about themselves and other people might develop a more positive view of their voices.

"People being treated for hearing voices are usually given medication in an attempt to eliminate the problem. By investigating the factors influencing how voices are experienced we hope to contribute to the development of psychological therapies to help people better understand and cope with their voices."

The team would like to hear from people in the northwest aged 16 years and over who have been hearing voices for at least six months. They can be both users of mental-health services or not.

Discussions will be carried out at a location to suit the volunteer in complete privacy. Participants will also be asked to complete questionnaires about their experiences. In all participation in the study will take about an hour and a half. Travel expenses will be reimbursed.

People interested in participating can call 0161 306 0405 or e-mail voicesresearch@hotmail.co.uk


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Manchester. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Manchester. "Can Hearing Voices In Your Head Be A Good Thing?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 September 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060914095347.htm>.
University of Manchester. (2006, September 14). Can Hearing Voices In Your Head Be A Good Thing?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060914095347.htm
University of Manchester. "Can Hearing Voices In Your Head Be A Good Thing?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060914095347.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins