Yale University is conducting a study to understand perceptual experiences like hearing voices, seeing visions, or smelling, tasting, or feeling things that other people don’t, and what makes some people more able to control their experiences. They are currently looking for participants to complete a series of online surveys. You can find out more about the project by visiting the COPE Project website, or reading the FAQ page. From the COPE Project website:
People everywhere have experiences like hearing voices and seeing things other people don’t. Sometimes, these are part of mental illness. Often, however, they occur in healthy individuals. There are usually a few differences between the experiences of people who seek psychiatric care and people who don’t. One difference is the ability to regain empowerment in the distressing life experiences that aren’t working for them–specifically with perceptual experiences. For example, many people say they can schedule times for when their voices (whether they consider them voices, aspects, guides, spirits, etc.) can talk to them.
Influence over our experiences is complex. It involves neurological, psychological, and social factors. Today, there is no way to measure the ability to influence perceptual experiences.
We have made the first tool to study these experiences. It will help us design new treatments for individuals to gain empowerment in voice-hearing and other perceptual experiences. But we need your help!
Participants can be people with experiences of seeing, hearing, or feeling things others might not be who have influence (or control) or people who do not have influence (or control) over these experiences.
Behind the COPE Project is a team of individuals from all different communities–neuroscientists, therapists, mental health professionals, mental health advocates, individuals with lived experiences, and individuals who view their experiences as spiritually oriented. Our group is called the SPIRIT Alliance (SPIRIT meaning the multitude of characteristics that make up an individual).
Our goal: to understand clinically the extraordinary experiences of real people.
Share your experiences with us! Understanding how you can influence your perceptual experiences can help those who can’t do it themselves. This can inform new treatments for people who struggle with distressing experiences.
Our goals are:
• To learn from those who hear, see, and feel things others can’t/don’t
• To understand the ways people can control these experiences and their lives
• To create new treatments for those who need them.
• Is online, from the comfort of your own home.
• Is paid.
• Involves taking surveys, playing games, and sharing your story.