Factor analysis of the MEQ43 suggests non-psychedelic mystical experiences are different from psychedelic mystical experiences
Keywords:mystical experience, mystical experience questionnaire, MEQ43, MEQ30, MEQ25
This study aimed to determine whether the 30-item Mystical Experience Questionnaire (MEQ30) is suitable for measuring non-psychedelic mystical experiences or whether a subset of questions from the 43-item Mystical Experience Questionnaire (MEQ43) is more appropriate. Participants (N = 136) completed an online survey about their non-psychedelic mystical experience, which included the MEQ43 and its subset of items that make up the MEQ30. Confirmatory Factor Analysis revealed that the MEQ30 was not a good fit for the present study’s non-psychedelic sample. Exploratory Factor Analysis of the MEQ43 suggested that an alternative set of items and corresponding factors may be more appropriate. In the new four-factor instrument (MEQ25), 25 items account for all MEQ43 factors. The new factors are Sacred Unity, Noetic Quality, Time-Space Transcendence, and Ineffable and Paradoxical. The new scale demonstrated excellent internal reliability (α = .93) and strong convergent validity with the M-Scale. The new scale is unique because it has a separate factor for noetic quality, which is considered a salient and therapeutic aspect of mystical experience. Furthermore, the refined time-space subscale better reflects the theory and subjective experience of non-psychedelic mystical experiences.
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