Assessing psychologists' knowledge and attitudes toward near-death phenomena

Barbara A. Walker, Robert D. Russell
1988 Journal of Near-Death Studies  
ABSTRA CT: Nina Thornburg's (1988) Near-Death Phenomena Knowledge and Attitudes Questionnaire was distributed to 326 randomly selected Illinois psychologists. Of 117 usable questionnaires received, the mean score for knowledge questions was 7.5 of a maximum score of 18. Respondents were most knowledgeable about near-death elements of peace, out-of-body transcen dence, and tunnel/light phenomena. The mean score for the attitude portion of the instrument was 61.3 of a maximum score of 85 points
more » ... core of 85 points for the most positive attitude. Seven percent of the respondents indicated having had a near-death experience, 19% indicated having counseling near-death experiencers, and 28% indicated having had personal contacts with an experiencer. Although death is an inevitable reality of life, what occurs after the body's physiological functions have ceased remains a mystery. Perhaps to attain some control over and understanding of our forthcoming demise, human beings throughout history have recorded stories of characters who claim to have actually died and returned to inform us about the afterlife (Kastenbaum, 1979; Audette, 1982) .
doi:10.1007/bf01077505 fatcat:u6oovufurff33pnifftxqq4hsa