Associations between face pareidolia-proneness, anxiety, depression and visual hallucination-like experiences in a non-clinical population.

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Abstract

Research has evidenced that anxiety, depression, and top-down processing are all separately associated with visual hallucinations (VH), and that all four factors may be interlinked. This study, therefore, aimed to examine whether face pareidolia-proneness (a measure of top-down processing) mediated the association between anxiety and frequency of VH-like experiences, and the association between depression and frequency of VH-like experiences, within a non-clinical sample.

A quantitative, correlational design was implemented, and a total of 88 participants were recruited, with testing completed online. The study utilised the DASS-21 to assess anxiety and depression, the Multimodal Unusual Sensory Experiences Questionnaire to assess frequency of VH-like experiences, and a Face-Pareidolia Detection Task to assess face-pareidolia-proneness.

Anxiety (rho = .47) and depression (rho = .27) were correlated significantly with frequency of VH-like experiences, but face-pareidolia-proneness did not (rho = .12). In regression analyses, anxiety was the only variable to significantly predict frequency of VH-like experiences. No mediating effect, therefore, was found. If the same effect of anxiety can be found within clinical populations, these findings support the development of interventions that reduce anxiety in order to reduce the frequency and severity of VH.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 6 Dec 2022
EventThe Early Career Hallucinations Research Group: Fourth Annual Meeting, 2022 - University of Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble, France
Duration: 21 Apr 202222 Apr 2022

Conference

ConferenceThe Early Career Hallucinations Research Group: Fourth Annual Meeting, 2022
Abbreviated titleECHR Grenoble 2022
Country/TerritoryFrance
CityGrenoble
Period21/04/2222/04/22

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