An Investigation into Personality, Stress and Sleep with Reports of Hallucinations in a Normal Population—Hallucinations in Normal Population
Jim Barnes, Lucy Koch, Chloe Wilford, Laura Boubert
DOI: 10.4236/psych.2011.24058   PDF    HTML     7,261 Downloads   12,665 Views   Citations


Emotion, especially anxiety, has been implicated in triggering hallucinations. Sleep behaviour has also been reported to have a modest influence on the judgments that lead to hallucinatory experiences. We report an investigation on the prediction of hallucinatory predisposition which explored emotion and associated processes (stress, personality and sleep behaviour) using a questionnaire survey in a student population (N = 127). Findings indicated significant associations between perceived stress levels and sleep, with stress and being a significant predictor of the hallucinatory experience. In addition there was a predictive relationship between the proneness to hallucinate and schizotypal personality traits, characterised by the subscale of cognitive disorganisation and unusual experiences. Stress and anxiety together with personality may need to be considered in the understanding of hallucinatory experience.

Share and Cite:

Barnes, J. , Koch, L. , Wilford, C. & Boubert, L. (2011). An Investigation into Personality, Stress and Sleep with Reports of Hallucinations in a Normal Population—Hallucinations in Normal Population. Psychology, 2, 371-375. doi: 10.4236/psych.2011.24058.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Barnes, J., Connelly, V., Wiggs, L., Boubert, L., & Maravic, K. (2010). Sleep patterns in Parkinson’s disease patients with visual hallucinations. International Journal of Neuroscience, 120, 564-569. doi:10.3109/00207454.2010.494790
[2] Barnes, J., & David, A. S. (2001). Visual hallucinations in Parkinson’s disease: A review and phenomenological survey. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 70, 727-733. doi:10.1136/jnnp.70.6.727
[3] Bentall, R. P. (1990). The illusion of reality: A review and integration of psychological research on hallucinations. Psychological Bulletin, 107, 82-95. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.107.1.82
[4] Barrett, T. R., & Etheridge, J. B. (1992). Verbal hallucinations in normals. I: People who hear voices. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 6, 379-387. doi:10.1002/acp.2350060503
[5] Claridge, G., & Beech, T. (1995). Fully and quasi-dimensional constructions of schizotypy. In A. Raine, T. Lencz and S. A. Mednick (Eds.), Schizotypal personality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/CBO9780511759031.010
[6] Claridge, G., Clark, K., & Davis, C. (1997). Nightmares, dreams, and schizotypy. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 36, 377-386. doi:10.1111/j.2044-8260.1997.tb01245.x
[7] Costa, P. T. Jr., & McCrae, R. R. (1992). NEO PI-R professional manual. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources, Inc.
[8] Crandall, C. S., Preisler, J. J., & Aussprung, J. (1992). Measuring life event stress in the lives of college students: The Undergraduate Stress Questionnaire (USQ). Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 15, 627-662. doi:10.1007/BF00844860
[9] Delespaul, P., DeVries, M., & Van Os, J. (2002). Determinants of occurrence and recovery from hallucinations in daily life. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 37, 97-104. doi:10.1007/s001270200000
[10] Fowler, D., Garety, P. A., & Kuipers, L. (1995). Cognitive behaviour therapy for psychosis: Theory and practice. Chichester: Wiley.
[11] Freeman, D., & Garety, P. A. (2003). Connecting neurosis and psychosis: The direct influence of emotion on delusions and hallucinations. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 41, 923-947. doi:10.1016/S0005-7967(02)00104-3
[12] Fuller, K. H., Waters, W. F., Binks, P. G., & Anderson, T. (1997). Generalized anxiety and sleep architecture: A polysomnographic investigation. Sleep, 20, 370-376.
[13] Johns, L. C. (2005). Hallucinations in the general population. Current Psychiatry Reports, 7, 162-167. doi:10.1007/s11920-005-0049-9
[14] Johns, L. C., & Van Os, J. (2001). The continuity of psychotic experiences in the general population. Clinical Psychology Review, 21, 1125-1141. doi:10.1016/S0272-7358(01)00103-9
[15] Kirmil-Gray, K., Eagleston, J. R., Gibson, E., & Thoresen, C. E. (1984). Sleep disturbance in adolescents: Sleep quality, sleep habits, beliefs about sleep, and daytime functioning. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 13, 375-384. doi:10.1007/BF02088636
[16] Laroi, F., & Van der Linden, M. (2005). Metacognitions in proneness towards hallucinations and delusions. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 43, 1425-1441. doi:10.1016/j.brat.2004.10.008
[17] Laroi, F., Van der Linden, M., & Marczewski, P. (2004). The effects of emotional salience, cognitive effort and meta-cognitive beliefs on a reality monitoring task in hallucination-prone subjects. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 43, 221-233. doi:10.1348/0144665031752970
[18] Launay, G., & Slade, P. (1981). The measurement of hallucinatory predisposition in male and female prisoners. Personality and Individual Differences, 2, 221-234. doi:10.1016/0191-8869(81)90027-1
[19] Medeiros, A. L. D., Mendes, D. B. F., Lima, P. C. F., & Araujo, J. F. (2001). The relationships between sleep-wake cycle and academic performance in medical students. Biological Rhythm Research, 32, 263-270. doi:10.1076/brhm.
[20] Nettle, D. (2006). Schizotypy and mental health amongst poets, visual artists and mathematicans. Journal of Research in Personality, 40, 876-890. doi:10.1016/j.jrp.2005.09.004
[21] Ohayon, M. M. (2000). Prevalence of hallucinations and their pathological associations in the general population. Psychiatry Research, 97, 153-164. doi:10.1016/S0165-1781(00)00227-4
[22] Oswald, I. (1962). Sleeping and waking. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
[23] Pilcher, J. J., Ginter, D. R., & Sadowsky, B. (1997). Sleep quality versus sleep quantity: Relationships between sleep and measures of health, well-being and sleepiness in college students. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 42, 583-596. doi:10.1037/11541-000
[24] Posey, T. B., & Losch, M. E. (1983). Auditory hallucinations of hearing voices in 375 normal subjects. Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 3, 99-113. doi:10.1016/S0022-3999(97)00004-4
[25] Rajaratnam, S. M., & Arendt, J. (2001). Health in a 24-h society. Lancet, 358, 999-1005. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(01)06108-6
[26] Slade, P. D. (1973). The psychological investigation and treatment of auditory hallucinations: A second case report. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 46, 293-296. doi:10.1111/j.2044-8341.1973.tb02254.x
[27] Slade, P. D., & Bentall, R. P. (1988). Sensory deception: A scientific analysis of hallucination. London: Croom Helm.
[28] Soares, C. N. (2005). Insomnia in women: An overlooked epidemic? Archives of Women’s Mental Health, 8, 205-213. doi:10.1007/s00737-005-0100-1
[29] Tien, A. Y. (1991). Distributions of hallucinations in the population. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 26, 287-292. doi:10.1007/BF00789221

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.