Psychologists Sheryl C. Wilson and Theodore X. Barber are credited with identifying Fantasy Prone Personality by testing for fourteen traits.
Here are the criteria:
(1) being an excellent hypnotic subject, (2) having imaginary playmates as a child, (3) fantasizing frequently as a child, (4) adopting a fantasy identity, (5) experiencing imagined sensations as real, (6) having vivid sensory perceptions, (7) reliving past experiences, (8) claiming psychic powers, (9) having out-of-body or floating experiences, (10) receiving poems, messages, etc., from spirits, higher intelligences, and the like, (11) being involved in “healing,” (12) encountering apparitions, (13) experiencing hypnagogic hallucinations (waking dreams), and (14) seeing classical hypnagogic imagery (such as spirits or monsters from outer space).
Wilson and Barber considered having six or more traits worthy of the designation of fantasy prone. Let’s see how I rate:
(1) being an excellent hypnotic subject= Not sure, I’ve never been hypnotized but I have trouble meditating so I doubt that I would make a good subject
(2) having imaginary playmates as a child= No (thank god, those really creep me out)
(3) fantasizing frequently as a child= Yes, I was an extremely imaginative child
(4) adopting a fantasy identity= No, not sure what this means but I’m guessing you imagine yourself as some sort of character or alter ego.
(5) experiencing imagined sensations as real= I don’t think I’ve done this yet but would you be able to discern this if you had imagined sensations as real? On the occasions I’ve seen unusual things I’ve had another witness to back it up, so I’m going to say no.
(6) having vivid sensory perceptions= Yes, again this is hard to understand, but I do feel like I have a high sensory awareness (sight, sound, touch, taste, smell, intuition)
(7) reliving past experiences- Yes, again not sure if I’m understanding this right but I have very vivid recall. I can even remember little details as young as three or four years old. I also tend to live in the past more than most people.
(8) claiming psychic powers= Yes, I do think I have slight psychic sensitivities.
(9) having out-of-body or floating experiences= No, I’ve never had this experience
(10) receiving poems, messages, etc., from spirits, higher intelligences, and the like= Yes, this has happened to me before.
(11) being involved in “healing,”= No, I’ve never been involved with a healing before
(12) encountering apparitions= Yes, but I think growing up in pre-revolutionary houses contributed to this
(13) experiencing hypnagogic hallucinations (waking dreams)= No, I’ve never experienced this half-dream state.
(14) seeing classical hypnagogic imagery (such as spirits or monsters from outer space)= Now, this I had to take apart and define in order to understand what they meant by this. Classical =well-known. Hypnagogic = of, relating to, or occurring in the state of intermediate consciousness preceding sleep. So I understood this to mean a stereotyped hallucination preceding deep sleep and I’ve never experienced this.
I do have six of these traits so I’m apparently fantasy-prone. Does this explain my draw to creating worlds and stories in my novels? Does a writer benefit from being fantasy prone in order to create the world building and immersion needed for the reader? I wonder if the higher the degree of fantasy-proness the better the creativity?
Well, this study seems to correlate the two (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3746620?dopt=Abstract). “Fantasizers were found to outscore subjects in both comparison groups on all of the measures of fantasy, imagination, and creativity…”
Now I feel compelled to see if I’d make a good hypnosis subject.
So all my fantasy or sci-fi blog followers, how do you rate? Are you fantasy prone as well?