Monotonous Percussion Drumming and Trance Postures: A Controlled Evaluation of Phenomenological Effects

Anthropology of Consciousness 8 (2-3):69-87 (1997)
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Abstract

Felicitas Goodman (1990) observed that naive participants experienced unique trance states, characterized by specific visionary content, when they assumed particular postures and listened to monotonous rattling. Students (n = 284), enrolled in various sections of the course Introduction to Psychology, experienced one of four conditions with their eyes closed: Sitting Quietly with and without Drumming, Standing (Feather Serpent) Posture plus Drumming with and without Suggested Experiences. Participants completed the Phenomenology of Consciousness Inventory (Pekala 1982, 1991c) and wrote narratives following their respective stimulus conditions. Participants reported less imagery, joy, and absorption, but more internal dialogue, self‐awareness, and muscular tension in the posture, compared to the sitting quietly, conditions. Goodman's results of specific posture (content‐related) effects with naive participants were not replicated.

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