What is it about?

We studied the reports of people who wrote to the online forum Yahoo! Answers about having voice hearing experiences. We analyzed and categorized the reports in different ways to figure out what kinds of experiences were being reported and who was reporting them.

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Why is it important?

We studied 499 online posts about voice hearing, the largest sample of voice hearing reports studied to date. Most people in our sample didn't appear to have a psychiatric diagnosis. Some features that other researchers have thought were typical of hallucinated voices --like commands-- were reported by only about a fifth of the people studied. Voices that seemed to have nothing to do with the self and voices that were unclear were reported more often than in previous studies. Voice characteristics that suggest different etiologies were seen in the same people.


This study shows that there is still much we don't understand about auditory verbal hallucinations or voice hearing experiences. It is particularly important to find ways of studying these experiences in the nonclinical population.

Dr. Ruvanee P. Vilhauer
Formerly New York University, currently private practice

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Unsolicited reports of voice hearing in the general population: a study using a novel method, Psychosis, July 2018, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/17522439.2018.1485727.
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