Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Massey research on effect of near-death experiences

Massey research on effect of near-death experiences

How does a close brush with death lead to a better life? It is known that nudging extinction can bring about dramatic life changes, and a Massey psychology student is researching the near-death experience phenomenon.

Kate Steadman is seeking 100 New Zealanders willing to share their experiences for her master's study, which will build on a body of work already done by staff in the School of Psychology.

Ms Steadman says near-death experiences (NDEs) that lead to profound, longlasting changes in people’s lives are well-documented yet little understood, particularly in New Zealand.

An NDE is defined as one in which a person undergoes intensely transcendental and mystical experiences when they are close to death, or in intense emotional or physical danger.

“It might be a situation where you were temporarily clinically dead or close to death but still felt as though something significant happened to you during this time, such as leaving your physical body, moving through a tunnel, being drawn to or seeing a bright light," she says. "It could involve thinking you are meeting someone you know who has died or some spiritual beings, an altered perception of time, travel to another realm or place of existence, overwhelmingly positive emotions such as love and joy, or any combination of these.

"And the recollection of the experience may have resulted in significant and fundamental life changes, and possibly a loss of the fear of death.”

Other changes include people becoming less materialistic, and more selfless, kind and loving, she says, and a changed perspective and behaviour that can have a major impact on those around them.

With increasing technological advances and rates of successful resuscitation, reports of near-death experiences are more common, with around 25 per cent of cardiac arrest patients and between four and nine per cent of the general population believed to have experienced them.

Ms Steadman hopes her study will contribute to knowledge and training for psychologists who encounter clients in clinical settings who have had a near-death experience. In addition, a better understanding of the aspects of near-death experiences that trigger positive changes could shed light on the nature of consiousness and how people find meaning in their lives – information of benefit to psychologists working to help people feel more positive, motivated and self-aware.

Research in this field is of educational value because such experiences may be dismissed by the medical profession as solely the result of chemical processes in the brain caused by a lack of oxygen. People tend to be wary of talking about their experience because they find it hard to describe and fear being misunderstood or ridiculed.

She says it is important to distinguish between NDEs and people who come close to death yet do not have one. “Although those who come close to death do and can experience important life changes, they appear to be not as dramatic or long-lasting. There must be something in the content of the NDE, rather than the brush with death itself, that ensures long-lasting after-effects and life changes."

People of diverse spiritual, religious and philosophical backgrounds are known to have reported near-death experiences, not just those who are religious.

Ms Steadman has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Psychology from the University of Canterbury and is now studying at Massey's Manawatū campus. She was inspired to do research in this area by Massey psychology lecturer Dr Natasha Tassell-Matamua, who, with sociologist Dr Mary Murray, undertook the first major research on people’s accounts of near-death experiences in New Zealand.

Dr Tassell-Matamua is supervising Ms Steadman while continuing her own research in the area.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Media: Fairfax Moves To Create Modern Newsroom

Fairfax Media New Zealand continues its newsroom transformation this week, with a proposal to further organise its editorial operations into focused, local teams and specialist national topic areas. More>>

ALSO:

Dairy: Fonterra Forecast For 2015/16 Season

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited has today reduced its forecast Farmgate Milk Price for the 2014/15 season to $4.40 per kgMS. Along with its previously announced forecast dividend range of 20-30 cents per share, the change amounts to a forecast ... More>>

ALSO:

BusinessDesk: SkyCity Lifts Minimum Convention Centre Investment To $430M

SkyCity Entertainment Group, the casino operator, has lifted the minimum it will invest in the Auckland International Convention Centre to $430 million and said total costs including land may be $450 million to $470 million. More>>

Statistics: Drop In Dairy Prices Leads Fall In Exports

Total goods exports fell $240 million (5.5 percent) to $4.2 billion in April 2015 compared with April 2014, Statistics New Zealand said today. More>>

BusinessDesk: APN's NZME Sees Future In Paywalls, Growth In Digital Sales

APN News & Media has touted a single newsroom concept for its NZME unit in New Zealand, similar to what Germany's Die Welt uses, saying an 'integrated sales proposition' is helping it win market share, including ... More>>

Labour Party: Global Milk Prices Now Lowest In 6 Years

The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices ... More>>


BusinessDesk: NZ Inflation Expectations Creep Higher In June Survey

May 19 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand businesses lifted their expectations for inflation over the next two years, sapping any immediate pressure on the Reserve Bank to cut interest rates, and prompting the kiwi dollar to jump higher. More>>

BusinessDesk: Lower Fuel Costs Drive Down NZ Producer Input, Output Prices

May 19 - Producer input and output prices fell in the first quarter, mainly reflecting lower fuel costs and weakness in prices of meat and dairy products. More>>

Media: Fairfax Media NZ Announces Senior Editorial Team

Fairfax Media New Zealand has today confirmed its new editorial leadership team, as part of a transformation of its newsrooms aimed at enhancing local and national journalism across digital and print. More>>

Science: Flavonoids Reduce Cold And Cough Risk

Flavonoids reduce cold and cough risk Research from the University of Auckland shows eating flavonoids – found in green tea, apples, blueberries, cocoa, red wine and onions – can significantly reduce the risk of catching colds and coughs. The research, ... More>>

BusinessDesk: RBNZ House Alert Speech The Catalyst For Government Action

Prime Minister John Key all but conceded that pressure from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand for concerted action on rampant Auckland house prices was one of the main catalysts for the government's weekend announcements about tightly ... More>>

BusinessDesk: How To Fall Foul Of The New Housing Tax Rules: Tips From IRD

Just because you rented out your investment property doesn't absolve you from paying tax, says the Inland Revenue Department in a summary of commonly made mistakes by non-professional property investors when it comes to their tax liability.More>>

Legal: Superdiversity Law, Policy And Business Stocktake Announced

Mai Chen, Managing Partner at Chen Palmer New Zealand Public and Employment Law Specialists and Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Auckland, today announced the establishment ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news