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Keywords:

  • exceptional experiences;
  • transpersonal psychology;
  • spirituality;
  • dissociation;
  • assessment;
  • questionnaire

Abstract

A new instrument for the measurement of exceptional experiences, the Exceptional Experiences Questionnaire (EEQ), is introduced, which considers both frequency and individual evaluation of exceptional experiences. A principal component factor analysis extracted four factors (positive spiritual experiences, experiences of deconstruction/ego loss, psychopathological experiences and dream-type experiences), which explain 49% of the variance. The 25-item short form of the instrument shows good psychometric properties (range for Cronbach's alpha: r = 0.67–0.89, range for test–retest reliability after 6 months r = 0.66–0.87). The instrument shows adequate discriminant and convergent validity (Sense of Coherence, Social Support, Mental Distress and Transpersonal Trust) and can discriminate between spiritual practising and non practising individuals. A non-technical summary of the research is provided at the end of this paper. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.