Psychologists Explain Why People Believe In Alien Abductions

First Posted: Feb 01, 2017 03:51 AM EST

Alien hunters have become obsessed with the reality of extraterrestrial existence as claims of alien abduction fill their minds for years. While scientists continue their quest in finding concrete evidence of alien life, psychologists explain how people telling stories about being abducted by aliens come up with their beliefs.

The Conversation reported that psychologists have provided scientific explanations behind countless claims of alien abduction. According to studies, these people may have a personality called proclivity for fantasy, where they often confuse reality with their fantasies. People prone to fantasy are often led to believe that what they have imagined actually happened, which is why those claiming to have encountered extraterrestrials seem to be telling the truth.

Another psychological explanation is a personality called dissociation, where a person's mental processes detach themselves and from reality. This often occurs as a form of escape when a person is undergoing stressful to extremely tense life situations.

Psychologists believe that these claims of alien abduction could be a combination of susceptibility to false memories and personality characteristics.

In addition, psychologists point sleep paralysis as another factor that could prompt false memories. This occurs when a person becomes conscious when he transitions from sleep to wakefulness while he is unable to move.

Those who have experienced sleep paralysis share the same claims of being awake and not dreaming, a realistic perception of the environment, and feelings of fear and dread. Experiencers also feel pressure on their chests as if they are restricted to a lying position, have difficulties in breathing, as well as a sense of an evil or supernatural presence (e.g., aliens).

"[If] you're having episodes that are becoming somewhat more frequent, see a sleep specialist to see if there's any underlying medical disorder that might be causing the sleep paralysis," Dr. Shelby Harris, director of Behavioral Sleep Medicine at the Sleep-Wake Disorders Center at the Montefiore Health System in Bronx, New York, told Live Science.

And just like any other strange conditions, it does work best to see an expert before jumping to conclusions.

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