We used an online survey to investigate the relations among synesthesia, schizotypy, exceptional experiences (ExEs), and well-being. Participants (N = 1,628 [listwise N = 767]; male = 619, female = 1,064) completed a Synesthesia Experience Questionnaire (SEQ), a general question about synesthetic experiences (Hartmann, 1991), the Anomalous Experience Subscale (AES) of the Anomalous Experience Inventory (Gallagher, Kumar, & Pekala, 1994), questions about parapsychological experiences, a multidimensional measure of schizotypy (Oxford-Liverpool Inventory for Feelings and Experiences Short [O-LIFE Short]; Mason, Linney, & Claridge, 2005), and the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS; Diener, Emmons, Larsen, & Griffin, 1985). Cronbach’s alphas for these measures ranged from .63 to .90 in our data set. Approximately half (54.4%) of the sample reported 1 or more synesthetic experiences, although the rate was much lower for synesthesias experienced on a consistent basis (3.1%). The SEQ was highly internally reliable and correlated positively with the AES, number of parapsychological experiences, and unusual experiences, and negatively with introvertive anhedonia. The SEQ was not directly related to the SWLS. Unusual experiences and synesthesia were the strongest predictors of the AES and parapsychological experiences in multiple regression models. A cluster analysis of schizotypy found 4 clusters of schizotypy, including 1 cluster reflecting healthy schizotypy, 1 reflecting high schizotypy, 1 reflecting low schizotypy, and 1 reflecting negative schizotypy. We compared clusters in terms of the SWLS, ExEs, and the SEQ and found significant differences for all variables and higher scores for healthy compared with high schizotypy on all variables. We discuss the complex relations among synesthesia, schizotypy, and well-being.
|Simmonds-Moore, C. A., Alvarado, C. S., & Zingrone, N. L. (2019). A survey exploring synesthetic experiences: Exceptional experiences, schizotypy, and psychological well-being. Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice, 6(1), 99-121. doi: 10.1037/cns0000165|