Objectives: Conducted with Dr. Carlos S. Alvarado, the research described here was an exploratory
survey of the relationship of Tellegen’s Absorption Scale (TAS) scores, the frequency of absorption
experiences and, adult memories of childhood imaginary companions, and dream-related,
mystical, déjà vu, synesthesia-like and seemingly psychic experiences.
Method: Two surveys were conducted, one a random survey of the population of Richmond,
Virginia (S1) and the other, an English-language web-based volunteer survey (S2).
Results: 263 individuals completed the random survey and 622 the web-based survey. S2
respondents obtained higher TAS scores, and claimed more of all other experiences surveyed. 14%
S1 respondents claimed childhood imaginary companions compared to 26% S2 respondents. For
both groups, TAS scores were significantly higher for those who remembered imaginary
companions (IC-Yes) than for those who did not (IC-No) (Mann-Whitney z scores, S1z = 4.23, S2z =
6.61, p < .0001), as were frequency of absorption experience scores (S1z = 4.03, S2z = 6.96, p <
.0001). IC-Yes and IC-No groups differed significantly in S2 on frequency of dream-related,
seemingly psychic, mystical, déjà vu, and synesthesia-like experiences while in S1, disturbing
dreams, mystical and déjà vu experiences were not significantly different when parsed by ICYes/
IC-No. TAS scores and absorption frequency scores correlated with other experiences in both
surveys, with differing patterns of significance. For example, of the significant outcomes, TAS
scores correlated most highly with the frequency of lucid dreams (rs = .498), claimed apparitional
experiences (rs = .538), mystical experience (rs = .581) and synesthesia-like experiences of color
with music (rs = .614) in S1, but with dream recall frequency (rs = .283), claimed ESP experiences
during dreams (rs = .489), and déjà vu (rs = .524) in S2.
Conclusion/Discussion: This research replicated results of previous studies we have conducted in
that they show a consistent set of relationships between exceptional experiences and with such
psychological states/traits as absorption. Future research that includes measures of psychological
and psychosocial adjustment is warranted.