The Psychology Behind Alien Abductions

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The Psychology Behind Alien Abductions Alien abductions are no longer things of science fiction novel and movies. In the late 1940s, UFO and alien sightings became a nation wide phenomenon. With the reported sightings and abductions, came mass media, but also heavy criticism. ‘‘If nothing else, these descriptions illustrate that the AAE is a dynamic, elaborate, and involved experience, rich in contextual detail, with considerable perceptual, psychological, cognitive, and physical concomitants’’ (p. 255). Over the course of seventy years, scientists have delved into the mindset of these victims and uncovered the underlying causes of the reported experiences. Extensive research has been conducted to determine the psychological aspects of…show more content…
Donald Spence believes that this may be the case in his article “Abduction Tales as Metaphors”. The alien narrative is a substitute for the cultural crisis Robert Thoreau describes as a less empowered, more alienated, and less predictable citizens (Spence 177). Most abductions have the similar traits of powerlessness and uncertainty, while powerful beings degrade their bodies and leave them traumatized (177). When contrasting modern day abductions and mid-twentieth century ones, Spence found that the narratives are also reflective of our times. Early aliens were generally characterized as a jovial creatures, while modern day extraterrestrials are described as malevolent creatures. The stark contrast is a subliminal metaphor for the cultural atmosphere of the time. The early Kennedy and Eisenhower years marker great progress within the American society and stability. As the political and cultural climates have changed, the tales of little gray men turn into an ominous fight for freedom. Deciphering the actual cause of reports alien abductions may never be solved, but many psychologists have theories. While Spence believes the alien abduction phenomenon is a metaphor for our society, psychologist Roy Baumeister believes reports are made by masochists. A person who is sexually gratified by pain, degradation, etc., that is self-imposed or imposed by others. Dr. Baumeister believes the reports stem

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