Comparison of Compassion and Death Anxiety in Mediums and Demographically Identical Non-Mediums

Comparison of Compassion and Death Anxiety in Mediums and Demographically Identical Non-Mediums

Julie Beischel

Windbridge Research Center

Introduction: Although it is possible for anyone to experience communication or contact from the deceased, individuals termed (psychic) mediums have this experience regularly and reliably and share the resulting messages with living loved ones. This demonstrates a continuing bond that perseveres beyond physical death. Previous blinded and controlled research has demonstrated mediums’ abilities to report accurate information about the deceased and a significant phenomenological component of love during communication.

Methods: Two online surveys were used to compare the characteristics of self-identified mediums and non-mediums. In both studies, the participants were demographically identical in gender (~90% female), age (~54 yrs), and race (~90% white). The first study examined differences in compassion using anonymous survey responses to the Santa Clara Brief Compassion Scale (SCBCS) from 316 mediums and 1,068 non-mediums. The SCBCS is comprised of five items using Likert-type response options (1: ‘not at all true of me,’ to 7: ‘very true of me;’ min: 5, max: 35). The second study used the Collett-Lester Fear of Death Scale (CLFDS) to quantify death anxiety in 120 mediums (including 14 Windbridge Certified Research Mediums) and 226 non-mediums. The CLFDS gages individual components of death anxiety using four 7-item subscales (Your Own Death, the Death of Others, Your Own Dying, and the Dying of Others) and uses Likert-type response options (1: ‘not,’ to 5: ‘very;’ min: 7, max: 35 for each subscale). Data groups were compared using t tests; significance was Bonferroni-corrected.

Results: Data are listed as mean ± SD; effect size: Hedges’ g.

Compassion: Mediums received significantly higher SCBCS scores than non-mediums with a moderate effect size (31.18 ± 4.61 vs. 28.69 ± 6.13; df = 676, Welch t = 7.80, p = 2.34×10-14, g = .43).

Death Anxiety: Mediums received significantly lower CLFDS scores than non-mediums with moderate and large effect sizes for all four subscales: Your Own Death (11.91 ± 5.21 vs. 15.44 ± 7.38, df = 317, Welch t = -5.17, p = 4.15×10-7, g = .53); the Death of Others (16.4 ± 5.79 vs. 21.22 ± 0.45, df = 276, Welch t = -6.95, p = 2.60×10-11, g = .75), Your Own Dying (17.15 ± 6.88 vs. 21.09 ± 7.10, df = 344, t = -4.96, p = 1.09×10-6, g = .56), and the Dying of Others (17.64 ± 5.79 vs. 20.72 ± 6.10, df = 344, t = -4.59, p = 6.20×10-6, g = .72).

Implications / Discussion: Compared to demographically identical, self-identified non-mediums, mediums demonstrated significantly higher levels of compassion and significantly lower levels of death anxiety. Engaging in practices that develop compassion may help non-mediums connect with their departed loved ones thus strengthening their continuing bonds. Moreover, the trait of compassion may be useful for psychic functioning in general. In addition, experiences related to an afterlife may decrease one’s death anxiety. This finding may have implications for healthcare and society in general.

Bio: Julie Beischel received her Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology and uses her interdisciplinary training to apply the scientific method to the mysteries of consciousness. She is co-founder and Director of Research at the Windbridge Research Center, a public charity dedicated to easing suffering around dying, death, and what comes next by performing rigorous scientific research and creating free educational materials. Dr. Beischel’s most recent book, Love and the Afterlife: How to Stay Connected to Your Human and Animal Loved Ones, details research demonstrating that love is a cornerstone of the afterlife and provides suggestions for connecting with departed loved ones.Join this channel to get access to perks:

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Published on March 4, 2024