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an instance, be it a fleeting or a recurring one, wherein we find ourselves saying “I’ve been here before,” or thinking “I feel like this isn’t my first time doing or experiencing this.” And we are given a French term to call that unique feeling we have - déjà vu, which literally means "already seen." This déjà vu experience is defined as ‘any subjectively inappropriate impression of familiarity of a present experience with an undefined past’ (Neppe, 1983). As popular as it may be in our popular culture through movies, books, songs and other media, we often question the “validity” of our experience for the lack of proof or explanation we can offer to other people. But the fact is, this concept of déjà vu has a long history and is being continually researched on to identify its scientific reasoning through surveys and laboratory experiments. A brief history of déjà vu There doesn’t seem to be much awareness in the phenomenon, historically, until the early part of the 1800s, except for St Augustine’s (354 - 430 AD) argument on his book “On the Trinity” (Chapter XV, Book XII), which if analyzed, it could be considered as the earliest reference to déjà vu. The belief by St. Augustine that déjà vu might be caused by outside agencies will reappear in Frederic William Henry Myers’s, one of the founding members of the British Society for Psychical Research, two-part, book length article on what he called “The Subliminal Mind” (1895) where he stated: “…I ascribe some precognitions to the reasoned foresight of disembodied spirits, just as I ascribe some retrocognitions to their surviving memory" (p. 340).
A novel entitled “Guy Mannering or the Astrologer” (1815) by Sir Walter Scott will be another earliest account that talks about déjà vu experiences again, 1500 years since St. Augustine. And though only published in 1840, the English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley seemed to be among the firsts to see an obvious connection between his déjà vu experiences and his prior dreams as shown in his prose notes with the heading “Catalogue of the Phenomena of Dreams, as Connecting Sleeping and Waking.” Charles Dickens’ “David Copperfield” (1850) book passage: "We have all some experience of a feeling, that comes over us occasionally, of what we are saying and doing having been said and done before. in a remote time -- of our having been surrounded, dim ages ago, by the same faces, objects, and circumstances -- of our knowing perfectly what will be said next, as if we suddenly remembered it" (chap 39), is perhaps the most often cited in the déjà vu literature before it turned to a more scientific topic, among many other literature works. The one who served as the bridge of déjà vu to a more scientific thinking was Oliver Wendell Holmes, an eminent Bostonian and Harvard Professor of Anatomy, when he published his collection of thoughts entitled “The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table” (1858). But the earliest published medical-scientific thinking on déjà vu was Sir Arthur Wigan’s “The Duality of the Mind” (1844) wherein he mentioned how he experienced déjà vu when he attended the wake of Princess Charlotte of Windsor in 1817. From Sir Wigan’s experience, he concluded that déjà vu only happens when someone is exhausted, making one hemisphere of the brain more or less inattentive or even asleep. Then when it is awaken by something, the active hemisphere has already acknowledged the situation while the other only digests its information after it. And since we don’t have anything to base
how much time has passed, that time interval “may seem to have been many years” (p. 85). His book is actually surprising as to how he has predicted some of the most recent areas of neurological studies. Terminology The term déjà vu was first used in the scientific literature by Émile Boirac, in his letter published in Revue Philosophique (1876) wherein he mentioned “le sentiment du déjà vu,” describing his experiences and categorized them as a type of illusionary memory though his used of the term was forgotten. During the meeting of Societe Medico-Psychologique in 1895, Dr. M. Arnaud, a French psychiatrist, officially proposed the term déjà vu and objected that false recognition, false memory, paramnesia and reminiscence were very extensive terminologies. Dr. Arnaud believed that as déjà vu means “already seen” it fitted more the phenomenon as it was experienced and is more neutral in theory. A number of authors took this suggestion and the term was taken over in popular jargon since it was short and straight to the point unlike “d éjà vécu” (already lived), as a number of writers have wanted and would perhaps have been more precise, but it never became famous. Studies on déjà vu Though this déjà vu phenomenon has now more than fifty different interpretations (Brown, 2003, 2004), a strong and reliable explanations has yet to be done. Over these past years, many scientists disregarded déjà vu due to its constant association with past life experiences, ESP, alien abductions and religion beliefs which gave the study of déjà vu a bit of a stigma. So now the question is why has the scientific study of déjà vu remained so vague?
According to Alan Brown (2004), two things are required to make a clear scientific statement on any psychological phenomenon: “a likely cause, and an observable behavior.” And too bad déjà vu experience lacks both. A person can tell when it begins and how long it lasts, but hardly has an idea about what caused it, and when you look at other people, you don’t know if they’re having a déjà vu like you. Even the person experiencing himself the phenomenon will have a hard time describing it. Other seemingly odd things associated with déjà vu also make scientists avoid this, as stated previously, people feel that the events happening during a déjà vu felt like have been dreamt. And some claims a sense of precognition during déjà vu, they know what will happen or what will be said next by someone. The theoretical foundation of déjà vu research is another obstacle to its scientific scrutiny since the experience was considered as a sign of pathology, rather than a routine memory glitch. This past century déjà vu was taken as seizure activity in the brain, specifically associated with temporal lobe epilepsy (Crichton-Browne, 1895; Jackson, 1888). It has also been viewed as a recognition disturbance linked with schizophrenia and other types of severe mental instability (e.g. Harriman, 1947). Two decades ago, if asked “Is it possible to have a scientific study on déjà vu?” the answer would have been “No.” But thanks to technological and research frontiers in the areas of brain science and cognition, understanding the possible mechanisms underlying this memory glitch is being continuously made.
Brain malfunctions An extensive research effort has been directed at determining if the déjà vuexperience is symptomatic of epilepsy (Brown, 2004). These investigations were stimulated by the presence of déjà vu in the pre-seizure aura of some temporal lobe epileptics. Although precisely locating where the déjà vu experience originates in the brain is clearly difficult, much of the evidence gathered from patients who experience déjà vu associated with epilepsy and brain tumors suggests that the experience probably originates in the hippocampus and parahippocampal area in the right hemisphere (Brown, 2004). Another brain dysfunction that could possibly lead to déjà vu involves a brief disruption in the normal course of neural information transmission. Information is usually transmitted from our sense organsto the higher brain centres in a rapid and dependably regular manner. Suppose that a very brief delay occurs along one of these neural chains – a slight disruption at one juncture (synapse) between neurons. Our brain is accustomed to a precise rhythm in its circuitry, and any disturbance gets its attention. When we trip over a rock, we immediately refocus our attention on the act of walking. Similarly, a slight neural hiccup changes our level of awareness, and we misinterpret this as familiarity. The brain usually merges these separate neural messages, but a small temporal gap creates the illusion of two separate experiences leading to déjà vu. Perhaps this temporal gap interpretation also explains the sense of precognition that occasionally accompanies déjà vu (see above vignette). If one focuses on the lagging message, there is the feeling that this has happened before (déjà vu). But if one focus on the leading message, it elicits a sense of ‘I know what will happen next’ (precognition). Switching between
the two messages could cause déjà vu and precognition to alternate with each other during the few fleeting moments of the experience. How can we test some of these ideas? Recent advances in brain imaging and electrical brain recording techniques may soon allow us to track small changes in the electrochemical activity of very specific parts of the brain. Technology also is available to present visual and auditory perceptual information asynchronously to each hemisphere, which could enable an experimental laboratory analogue of the neural delay theory of déjà vu (cf. Brown, 2004). Memory-based theories A second hypothesis involves another brain error; this time, the problem is with our memory, says Anne Cleary, a cognitive psychology professor at Colorado State University. Something about a new situation or setting activates a memory of a similar past experience, but our brains fail to recall it. Cleary offers this scenario to help explain: Imagine you’re visiting Paris for the first time, and you have arrived at the Louvre. Your gaze lands on the giant glass pyramid jutting out of the museum’s main courtyard, and you get that strange feeling. At that moment, your brain is failing to retrieve a memory that could explain it away: A few months ago, you watched The Da Vinci Code, a film that provides an up-close look at the Louvre Pyramid. “In the absence of recalling that specific experience,” Cleary says. “You’re left only with this feeling of familiarity with the current situation.” Cleary suspected that this sense of familiarity results from our ability to remember the spatial configuration of surroundings. To test this hypothesis, she set out to induce déjà vu in a laboratory setting (PDF). Using the life simulation game The Sims, Cleary and her team built two scenes, different in their features but identical in their layout. The first was a courtyard setting featuring a potted tree in the center, encircled by various plants, and hanging plant
baskets on the walls. The second was a museum setting that swapped the tree for a large statue, the floor plants with rugs and the hanging baskets with sconces. When participants explored the second room, they reported experiencing a feeling of déjà vu, but they couldn’t connect that to their time spent navigating the first room. “People do have an increased sense of déjà vu when the scene has a similar layout, but they’re failing to recall the source of that familiarity,” Cleary says. Yet another possible explanation for déjà vu, says Cleary, dates back to 1928, when psychology Edward Titchener described the sensation using the example of crossing a street. As we begin to cross a street, we instinctively look to the left, but if something catches our attention on our right, we turn in that direction. By the time we look to our left again, our brains may have forgotten the first glance. This second glance triggers a feeling of familiarity, because, in this case, we really have seen something before. In many cases, people who experience déjà vu can’t pinpoint why it’s happening. But for what it’s worth, our brains are trying to tell us, Cleary says. Tip-of-the-tongue experiences work in much the same way: for instance, we know that we know the name of that actor in that one movie, but we can’t pull it to the front of our minds. “When retrieval does fail, our memories still have a way of alerting us to the fact that there’s something relevant in there,” she says. “There’s something there that maybe we want to keep searching for.” Déjà vu and psychological disorders Early researchers tried to establish a link between déjà vu and serious mental disorders such as schizophrenia, anxiety, and dissociative identity disorder, but failed to find the experience of some diagnostic value. There does not seem to be a special association between déjà vu and schizophrenia or other psychiatric conditions. The strongest pathological association
of déjà vu is with temporal lobe epilepsy. This correlation has led some researchers to speculate that the experience of déjà vu is possibly a neurological anomaly related to improper electrical discharge in the brain. As most people suffer a mild (i.e. non-pathological) epileptic episode regularly (e.g. a hypnagogic jerk, the sudden "jolt" that frequently, but not always, occurs just prior to falling asleep), it is conjectured that a similar (mild) neurological aberration occurs in the experience of déjà vu, resulting in an erroneous sensation of memory. Scientists have even looked into genetics when considering déjà vu. Although there is not currently a gene associated with déjà vu, the LGII gene on chromosome 10 is being studied for a possible link. Certain forms of the gene are associated with a mild form of epilepsy and, though by no means a certainty, déjà vu occurs often enough during seizures that researchers have reason to suspect a link. Drugs and deja vu Certain drugs increase the chances of déjà vu occurring in the user. Some pharmaceutical drugs, when taken together, have also been implicated in the cause of déjà vu. Taiminen and Jääskeläinen (2001) reported the case of an otherwise healthy male who started experiencing intense and recurrent sensations of déjà vu upon taking the drugs amantadine and phenylpropanolamine together to relieve flu symptoms. He found the experience so interesting that he completed the full course of his treatment and reported it to the psychologists to write up as a case study. Due to the dopaminergic action of the drugs and previous findings from electrode stimulation of the brain (e.g. Bancaud, Brunet-Bourgin, Chauvel, & Halgren, 1994), Taiminen and Jääskeläinen speculate that déjà vu occurs as a result of hyperdopaminergic action in the mesial temporal areas of the brain.
Divided attention (the cell phone theory) Dr. Alan Brown has attempted to recreate a process that he thinks is similar to déjà vu. In studies at Duke University and SMU, he and colleague Elizabeth Marsh put the idea of subliminal suggestion to the test. They showed photographs of various locations to a group of students, with the plan to ask them which locations were familiar. Prior to showing them some of the photographs, however, they flashed the photos onto the screen at subliminal speeds -- around 10 to 20 milliseconds -- which is long enough for the brain to register the photo but not long enough for the student to be consciously aware of it. In these experiments, the images that had been shown subliminally were familiar at a much higher rate than those that were not -- even though those students who had actually been to those locations had been pulled from the study. Larry Jacoby and Kevin Whitehouse of Washington University did similar studies using lists of words with similar results using lists of words. Based on this idea, Alan Brown proposed what he calls the cell phone theory (or divided attention). This means that when we are distracted with something else, we subliminally take in what's around us but may not truly register it consciously. Then, when we are able to focus on what we are doing, those surroundings appear to already be familiar to us even when they shouldn't be. With this in mind, it is reasonable to see how we might walk into a house for the first time, perhaps while talking to our host, and experience déjà vu. It would work like this: before we've actually looked at the room, our brains have processed it visually and/or by smell or sound, so that when we actually look at it we get a feeling that we've been there before.
Other theories on déjà vu Some researchers also report that the more tired or stressed you are, the more likely you are to experience déjà vu. Other researchers, however, have seen just the opposite. They report that the more refreshed and relaxed you are, the more likely you are to experience déjà vu. Obviously, the jury is still out about a lot of things related to déjà vu. One reported finding is that the more open-minded or politically liberal a person is, the more likely they are to experience déjà vu. However, this may also mean that the more openminded you are, the more likely you are to talk about something potentially seen as "weird," like déjà vu. The hologram theory Dutch psychiatrist Hermon Sno proposed the idea that memories are like holograms, meaning that you can recreate the entire three-dimensional image from any fragment of the whole. The smaller the fragment, however, the fuzzier the ultimate picture. Déjà vu, he says, happens when some detail in the environment we are currently in (a sight, sound, smell, et cetera) is similar to some remnant of a memory of our past and our brain recreates an entire scene from that fragment. Other researchers also agree that some small piece of familiarity may be the seed that creates the déjà vu feeling. For example, you might go for a ride with a friend in an old 1964 Plymouth and have a strong déjà vu experience without actually remembering (or even being aware of the fact) that your grandfather had the same type of car and you're actually
remembering riding in that car as a small child. Things like the smell and the look and feel of the seat or dashboard can bring back memories you didn't even know you had. Dual processing (or delayed vision) Another theory is based on the way our brain processes new information and how it stores long- and short-term memories. Robert Efron tested an idea at the Veterans Hospital in Boston in 1963 that stands as a valid theory today. He proposed that a delayed neurological response causes déjà vu. Because information enters the processing centers of the brain via more than one path, it is possible that occasionally that blending of information might not synchronize correctly. Efron found that the temporal lobe of the brain's left hemisphere is responsible for sorting incoming information. He also found that the temporal lobe receives this incoming information twice with a slight (milliseconds-long) delay between transmissions -- once directly and once again after its detour through the right hemisphere of the brain. If that second transmission is delayed slightly longer, then the brain might put the wrong timestamp on that bit of information and register it as a previous memory because it had already been processed. That could explain the sudden sense of familiarity. "Memories" from other sources This theory proposes that we have many stored memories that come from many aspects of our lives, including not only our own experiences but also movies, pictures we've seen and books we've read. We can have very strong memories of things we've read about or seen without actually experiencing, and over time, these memories may be pushed back in our minds. When in
we see or experience something that is very similar to one of those memories, we might experience a feeling of déjà vu. For example, as a child we may have seen a movie that had a scene in a famous restaurant or at a famous landmark. Then, as an adult, we visit the same location without remembering the movie, and the location appears to be very familiar to us. Types of déjà vu Defining types of déjà vu is a very slippery area. Those who h-ave studied it have applied their own categories and differentiations -- each usually tied to a specific theor-y about what causes déjà vu. Alan Brown, a professor of psychology at South Methodist University and author of "The Déjà Vu Experience: Essays in Cognitive Psychology," has three categories for déjà vu. He believes there is déjà vu caused by biological dysfunction (e.g., epilepsy), implicit familiarity and divided perception. In 1983, Dr. Vernon Neppe, Director of the Pacific Neuropsychiatric Institute in Seattle, proposed four subcategories of déjà vu, including epileptic, subjective paranormal, schizophrenic and associative. Taking a very broad look at the research and resources available, we can put déjà vu experiences into two categories and then see the more subtle distinctions that researchers have placed on it: Associative déjà vu. The most common type of déjà vu experienced by normal, healthy people is associative in nature. You see, hear, smell or otherwise experience something that stirs a feeling that you associate with something you've seen, heard, smelled or experienced before. Many researchers think that this type of déjà vu is a memory-based experience and assume that the memory centers of the brain are responsible for it.
Biological déjà vu. There are also high occurrences of déjà vu among people with temporal lobe epilepsy. Just before having a seizure they often experience a strong feeling of déjà vu. This has given researchers a slightly more reliable way of studying déjà vu, and they've been able to identify the areas of the brain where these types of déjà vu signals originate. However, some researchers say that this type of déjà vu is distinctly different from typical déjà vu. The person experiencing it may truly believe they've been through the exact situation before, rather than getting a feeling that quickly passes. Below are names for some of the many ways in which the déjà experience may manifest: déjà entendu - already heard déjà éprouvé - already experienced déjà fait - already done déjà pensé - already thought déjà raconté - already recounted déjà senti - already felt, smelt déjà su - already known (intellectually) déjà trouvé - already found (met) déjà vécu - already lived déjà voulu - already desired
Neppe (in conjunction with Prof. B. G. Rogers, Professor of French, University of the Witwatersrand) in 1981 suggested the following additional terms: déjà arrivé - already happened déjà connu - already known (personal knowing) déjà dit - already said/spoken (content of speech) déjà gouté - already tasted déjà lu - already read déjà parlé - already spoken (act of speech) déjà pressenti - already sensed déjà rencontré - already met déjà rêvé - already dreamt déjà visité - already visited Déjà rencontré appears preferable to déjà trouvé for the already met experience because it specifically relates to interpersonal situations Methodology With that knowledge on déjà vu in mind, the researcher conducted a small and limited interview and survey of people’s understanding and experience of déjà vu which will later on be analyzed in terms of the existing researchers regarding déjà vu.
The interview was done on the researcher’s selected family and friends asking them their basic understanding of déjà vu, and their beliefs of the causes behind it. While the survey was designed after the online survey provided by Dr. Art Funkhouser, was modified and was conducted online to ten participants only. Results and discussion The following were the questions asked during the interview, with the participant’s answers:
Question #1 Are you familiar with déjà vu? Yes. Yes. Have you experienced it? Yes. Yes. What are your general experiences with it? “Napanaginipan ko na bago pa man mangyari ‘to. . . Parang narinig o nakita ko na ito.” “Pamilyar sa ‘kin ang isang lugar kahit hindi ko pa napuntahan…Alam ko na kung anong susunod na mangyayari. Tipong kilala ko na yung isang taong baong kilala pa lang . . .” “Wala talaga akong maalala eh.” “Baka gusto akong kausapin ng isang multo, o alien, o ng Diyos. Parang premonisyon, ang galing. Sa probinsya kasi kapag ganyan baka babala rin yan.” “Parang nangyari na kahit hindi pa, parang napuntahan ko na, narinig, nabasa, nakilala kahit first time ko lang talaga na-encounter.”
Participant 1 Participant 2
Participant 3 Participant 4
No. Not sure.
Question 1 in the interview lets the participants tackle their own familiarity with déjà vu by letting them discuss their different experiences they consider as déjà vu. The things they mentioned are surprisingly under the different types of déjà vu as stated earlier.
Question #2 Participant 1 Participant 2 Participant 3 Participant 4 Participant 5 What do you think are the causes/reasons behind déjà vu? “Yun nga. Kasi napanaginipan ko na.” “Coincidence lang siguro.” “Baka maling akala lang yan nung mga taong sabi naka-experience na ng déjà vu.” “Milagro. Diyos lang ang may-alam. Kailangang manalig na lang tayo at magdasal.” “Baka nakalimutan ko lang yung iba. Baka sabog lang utak ko nun. Sobrang pagod. Nagkataon lang.”
In question 2, their own theories on the reasons they think why déjà vu happens were discussed. References to dreams, fate, false memory, brain fatigue and even religion belief were mentioned. Though not all of these are considered “scientific,” these are still included under the theories linked with déjà vu, as stated earlier in the paper. For the survey, here are the results of the different set of questions asked to the participants, but this time their identity was not asked:
Have you ever experienced déjà vu? Yes 7 No 2 Not Sure 1
Table 1. Familiarity with deja vu Out of the ten participants, two have not experienced it, which means that they did not have to answer the next questions.
You've mainly experienced ... Déjà visité (already been to a place - "been there") Déjà vécu (already lived through or experienced) Déjà entendu (already heard) Déjà gôuté (already tasted) Déjà connu (already known personally) Déjà dit (already said) Déjà présenti (had a presentiment) Déjà rêvé (already dreamt) Some other form of déjà experience
6 4 4 4 3 3 6 1
Table 2. Types of deja vu Here they were asked to check all that apply with the results showing that déjà visité (“been there”) and déjà rêvé (“already dreamt”) were the most common types of déjà vu garnering six occurrences over the eight participants.
Have you ever had an experience in which you recognized that something which was just happening had also happened before but, at the same time, you also knew that this was not possible (déjà vécu)? 3 1 4
Never Just Once More than Once
Have you ever gone to a new place but were able to recognize it like you had been there before but, at the same time, you knew that this was not possible (déjà visite)? 3 1 4
Table 3. Two initial questions leading to the questionnaire The researcher decided to include asking the two most common types of deje vu experience. As the results showed, half of the participants have at least experienced it more than once. Though three out of eight answered they have never experienced both, which may imply that they have experienced other types of déjà vu (as checked with their answers in table 2). These two questions are important aspect for the subsequent set of questions.
How frequently did you have these experiences? daily 0 a few times a 0 week weekly 1 monthly 1 rarely in a year 6
Table 4. Frequency of déjà vu experience How often the participants experience déjà vu showed that majority have it rarely in a year, implying that this phenomenon is indeed an elusive one, supported by their next answers.
What was the shortest span of time this occurred? 2 4 1 0 1 What would you estimate was a typical span of time? 3 0 3 2 0 What was the longest span of time this occurred? 2 0 1 4 0
a fleeting instant a few seconds several seconds a minute to few minutes more than a few
more minutes but less than an hour an hour or more
Table 5. Length of déjà vu experience Table 5 shows the length the participants experience déjà vu which the shortest is a few seconds, longest is a minute to few minutes with a typical time span of a fleeting instant to several seconds. This supports the studies that aside from being elusive, déjà vu is short-lived making it hard for memory retention or recall and validity whether it’s really happened or not.
How old were you when you had the first such experience? (estimate) before attending primary school during elementary during highschool during college can't remember
0 2 2 1 3
Table 6. Age of first déjà vu experience The first experience of déjà vu of the participants is hard to determine as shown in the table since they can’t really remember it or may not be aware that what they have experienced is considered as déjà vu.
How well can you remember what happened during the experience? very clearly 4 somewhat clear 4 vaguely 0
Table 7. Retained memory of déjà vu experience Though as shown in table 5 (length of déjà vu experience happens so fast and within a short period of time only), the participants claimed that they can remember very clearly to somewhat clear their déjà vu experiences rather than vaguely.
How do such experiences typically begin? suddenly gradually I don't remember 3 4 1
How do such experiences typically end? 1 5 2
Table 8. Occurrence speed of déjà vu How fast or slow the phenomenon occurs and ends to the participants are majorly gradual. This may be due to the processing that takes place within the brain, whether it accepts or rejects the phenomena, weighing and eliminating what is acceptable and what is not.
How would you describe your typical state of alertness during such experiences? hyperalert normal consciousness my mind was dull
2 6 0
Table 9. Mental state during déjà vu Table 9 shows that the participants have normal consciousness when they are undergoing the déjà vu experience with 6 of them claiming this, while only 2 claimed to be hyperalert and none was having a passive mental state.
Has there been any change in the frequency of these experiences? they have just started happening to me 1 they now occur more often 0 there has been no change in how often they occur 3 they happen less often now 3 they seem to have stopped happening 1
Table 10. Changes in frequency of déjà vu experience This can be correlated to table 4 (Frequency of déjà vu experience) which has a result of the participants experiencing it rarely within a year and here it is a tie between that frequency being the same and it becoming more rarely as of the moment.
How much of the situation you were in was included in your experience? all of it
most of it only a few details I don't remember
5 2 1
Table 11. Similarity of déjà vu experience with prior “memory” This part tries to determine the accuracy of their déjà vu experience with their “preconceived memory” of it and it shows that the participants consider that most of it are the same with each other. This implies their “sureness” with their experience to be labeled under déjà vu.
How well did your "memory" of the situation tally with what actually took place? precisely (in every detail) to a large extent to some extent only a few details i don't remember
0 2 4 1 1
Table 12. Retained memory of déjà vu experience version 2 This “retelling” of the question presented in table 11 to somewhat achieve a sense of validity in the participants’ answers and this creates a conflict with the previous generalization since here they claimed that their “preconceived memory” of the déjà vu experience is only up to some extent.
Did you ever have the impression that you knew in advance what was going to happen before it took place in such an experience? yes 8 no 0 I don't remember 0
Table 13. Déjà vécu (already lived through or experienced) Table 13 tries to test again the validity of the participants’ answers by rephrasing the question asked in table 1 (familiarity with déjà vu) and the expected result was 7 answering “yes” and 1 in “I don’t remember” since in table 1 7 answered “yes” and 1 answered “not sure.”
But this is still considered valid since the series of questions asked after the first question in the survey might have helped the participant reconfirm his statement of whether having experienced déjà vu or not.
How were the experiences for you? Unpleasant Frightening Reassuring 0 1 0 5 5 7 3 2 1
Pleasant all some none 2 6 0
Stunning 2 6 0
Table 14. Emotional feelings during déjà vu experience This part maybe considered as an extra scope, but not the main focus of the study, since this tackles the different emotions the participants have felt during their déjà vu experience. Though it is still nice to know what kind of feelings déjà vu makes when being experienced.
Do you have an explanation of how this can occur? no explanation or 1 theory some glitch in 3 brain functioning due to tiredness 4 or fatigue for something 3 similar (seen or read about) reincarnation 3 dreams 7
Table 15. Theory on déjà vu experience Table 15 gives a very good association of the survey to what the participants think the reason/s behind their déjà vu experience to the “established” (though still bound to be changed academically speaking) theories on déjà vu discussed at the earlier part of the paper. Though they don’t really have a prior knowledge of these theories, it’s a point to be taken that this part supports the idea that psychology somewhat just needs common sense to explain things (this is the researcher’s opinion only, no offense to all the psychologists and other people). The table
shows that “dreams” is the most “popular” theory believed by the participants. This supports the results in table 2 (types of déjà vu) which shows that déjà rêvé (“already dreamt”) is the most common type experienced by the participants. And since that is the most common type, they linked the dreams as the mechanisms behind.
If you have an explanation or theory, how certain are you that it is true? very certain somewhat certain not certain at all
1 5 2
Table 16. Certainty on déjà vu experience This part tests the conviction of the participants on the theory they believed is the reason behind déjà vu. It shows a positive result of them being “somewhat certain” in it. Conclusion The researcher thinks that what matters in this research is not the quantity of participants or the validity of the results of the interview and survey as a contribution to the “academic” study of déjà vu, but the exposure and knowledge gained during the process. As discussed, even today déjà vu has no hard-rock “scientific” explanations to either debunk or support existing theories on why it happens or is being experienced. The difficulty to “operational” this phenomenon makes it hard for the “professional” scientists, what more for a mere student of a general course in Psychology. The whole essence of things goes back to the reason why this whole study was done, and that is for learning and unlocking a Psych mystery. The researcher would like to end this by saying this research has given a “feel like a boss” confidence after this was successfully ended.
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