coincidental hallucination
   The term coincidental hallucination is indebted to the Latin noun coincidentia, which means simultaneous occurrence. It used to denote a type of hallucination that is believed to coincide in a meaningful way with an actual event taking place in the external world. In reports ofhallucinations designated as coincidental the images tend to be visual or compound in nature, although auditory and tactile phenomena are reported as well. These images can depict any given situation or event, but in the literature they often pertain to an individual who is ill or dying at the moment the hallucination takes place. When a temporal as well as an intrinsic relation can be demonstrated between the actual individual and the hallucination at hand, the term * veridical hallucination is used. Both coincidental and veridical hallucinations are sometimes conceptualized as *telepathic hallucinations, although other putative mechanisms have also been suggested by parapsycholo-gists. Claims of having experienced a coincidental hallucination have been made from the earliest times to the present day. The multitude of claimed contacts with the dead circulating during the latter half of the 19th century culminated in the publication of the book Phantasms ofthe Living by the British paranormal investigators Edmund Gurney (1847-1888), Frederic Myers (1843-1901), and Frank Podmore (1856-1910). This book contains 5,700 first-hand descriptions of * apparitions. It proved a major source of inspiration for the * Census of Hallucinations, carried out between 1889 and 1892 by the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) among 17,000 individuals in the non-institutionalized population of the United Kingdom. Within this population the SPR found a sky-rocketing odds ratio of 440 for the occurrence of coincidental hallucinations. As a corollary, the SPR concluded that "between deaths and apparitions of the dying person a connexion exists which is not due to chance alone." However, critics such as the German hallucinations researcher Edmund Parish (1861-1916) suggest that a substantial number of the reported * visions are really * memory hallucinations (i.e. false memories conjured up afterwards to fit a meaningful mould) or other types of *non-coincidental hallucinations. In the final analysis, it would seem that the issue of whether or not to believe in the possibility of coincidental and veridical hallucinations is not decided by empirical studies, even when they are carried out as thoroughly as the SPR's.
   References
   Gurney, E., Myers, F.W.H., Podmore, F. (1886). Phantasms of the living. Volumes 1 and 2. London: Trübner.
   Parish, E. (1897). Hallucinations and illusions. A study ofthe fallacies ofperception. London: Walter Scott. Sidgwick, H., Johnson, A., Myers, F.W.H., Pod-more, F., Sidgwick, E. (1894). Report on the census ofhallucinations.In: Proceedings ofthe Society for Psychical Research. Volume XXVI. Part X. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner &Co.

Dictionary of Hallucinations. . 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • non-coincidental hallucination —    A term used to denote a hallucination, usually * visual in nature, which the * hallucinator believes to coincide with an actual event (typically the dying of another person) without this being the case. The term non coincidental hallucination… …   Dictionary of Hallucinations

  • true hallucination —    The term true hallucination has a variety of meanings and connotations. First, it is used to remove any possible doubt concerning the status of a given percept as a hallucination. In this context, the term is used by the French psychiatrist… …   Dictionary of Hallucinations

  • veridical hallucination —    The term veridical hallucination is indebted to the Latin adjective veridicus, which means truthful or speaking the truth. It has two broad sets of connotations. In the first place, it is used as a synonym for the terms *true hallucination, *… …   Dictionary of Hallucinations

  • memory hallucination —    Also known as hallucinatory memory, hallucination of memory, and memory illusion. The German expression Halluzination der Erinnerung was introduced in or shortly before 1866 by the German psychiatrist Karl Ludwig Kahlbaum (1828 1899) to denote …   Dictionary of Hallucinations

  • telepathic hallucination —    The term telepathic hallucination is indebted to the term telepathy, which in turn stems from the Greek words tèle (far, distant), and pathe (occurrence or feeling). The term telepathy was introduced in or shortly before 1882 by the British… …   Dictionary of Hallucinations

  • epidemic hallucination —    Also known as popular hallucination and mass hallucinosis. All three terms are used to denote a hallucination shared by a relatively large number of people, who typically believe the content of the hallucination in question to be veridical or… …   Dictionary of Hallucinations

  • collective hallucination —    Also known as collective percipience and collective apparition. All three terms are indebted to the Latin adjective collectivus, which means gathered or united. They are used to denote a rare type of hallucination that is shared by a limited… …   Dictionary of Hallucinations

  • veridical apparition —    The term veridical apparition is indebted to the Latin adjective veridicus, which means truthful or speaking the truth. It is used in the paranormal literature to denote an * apparition whose presence can allegedly be corroborated empirically …   Dictionary of Hallucinations

  • clairsentience —    The term clairsentience comes from the French words for feeling clearly. The term is used in the parapsychological literature to denote a * tactile or * somatic hallucination attributable to a metaphysical source. It is therefore interpreted… …   Dictionary of Hallucinations

  • clairvoyance —    Also known as lucidity, telesthesia, and cryptesthesia. Clairvoyance is French for seeing clearly. The term is used in the parapsychological literature to denote a * visual or * compound hallucination attributable to a metaphysical source. It… …   Dictionary of Hallucinations

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