Ciarán O'Keeffe

Ciarán O'Keeffe
Buckinghamshire New University | bucks · Human & Social Sciences

Doctor of Philosophy
1. Info processing sciences (haunted & VR environments); 2. Relational sciences (Offender MH; ghostly experiences; RJ)

About

30
Publications
19,042
Reads
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Citations
Introduction
Associate Professor Ciaran O'Keeffe currently works at Bucks New University. He is Head of School of Human & Social Sciences responsible for Education which covers the following disciplines: Psychology, Education, Criminology, Sports Science, Sports Therapy, Social Science. He is working on a number of projects: understanding haunting experiences; Exceptional Human Experience; 'PACAMI-O Scale for measuring Attitudes towards offenders with mental health problems'.
Additional affiliations
August 2012 - August 2019
Buckinghamshire New University
Position
  • Head of Department

Publications

Publications (30)
Book
Full-text available
A lay- and student- friendly summary of our team's 5+ year research program on ghostly episodes and the phenomenon of Haunted People Syndrome (HP-S). Available at: https://mcfarlandbooks.com/product/ghosted/
Article
Research suggests a Haunted People Syndrome (HP-S) is defined by the recurrent perception of anomalous subjective and objective events. Occurrences are traditionally attributed to supernatural agencies, but we argue that such interpretations have morphed into themes of “surveillance and stalking” in group-stalking reports. We tested a series of rel...
Article
Full-text available
This paper contains a narrative overview of the past 20-years of environmental research on anomalous experiences attributed to "haunted house." This exercise served as a much-needed update to an anthology of noteworthy overviews on ghosts, haunts, and poltergeists (Houran and Lange, 2001b). We also considered whether new studies had incorporated ce...
Article
Full-text available
The VAPUS model (Hill et al., 2018, 2019) characterizes the powerful "brand personality" of ghost narratives in terms of their Versatility, Adaptability, Participatory Nature, Universality, and Scalability. This suggests that these narratives act as cultural memes that partly reflect interpersonal or group dynamics. We use these themes in a review...
Article
Full-text available
Research suggests a “Haunted People Syndrome (HP-S)” defined by recurrent and systematic perceptions of anomalous subjective and objective anomalies. Such signs or symptoms are traditionally attributed to “spirits and the supernatural,” but these themes are hypothesised to morph to “surveillance and stalking” in reports of “group-(or gang) stalking...
Article
Full-text available
The ‘underdog’ in competition is the one who is expected to lose. Just over a decade ago, leading names in underdog research reported on a series of studies which explored the appeal of the underdog. Their opening sentence read: ‘When people observe competitions, they are often drawn to figures that are seen as disadvantaged or unlikely to prevail’...
Article
Full-text available
Using a sample of self-reported “spontaneous” accounts (ostensibly sincere and unprimed, N = 426), we calibrated a 32-item, Rasch-based “Survey of Strange Events (SSE)” to quantify the phenomenology of ghostly episodes while assessing response biases related to experients’ age and gender. This inventory included psychological experiences typical of...
Article
Full-text available
We review conceptualizations and measurements of base (or core) experiences commonly attributed to haunts and poltergeists (i.e., “ghostly episodes”). Case analyses, surveys, controlled experiments, and field studies have attempted to gauge anomalous experiences in this domain, albeit with methods that do not cumulatively build on earlier research....
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Virtual Reality (VR) offers exciting new opportunities for teaching psychology, such as the chance to explore questions, phenomena, perspectives and experiences it would be difficult or impossible to observe in the real world or classroom. As VR technology develops, its potential to provide a multi-modal sensory experience may lead to even more imm...
Article
Full-text available
We continue our integrative review of nearly 20 years of sociocultural research and popular trends on ghosts, haunted houses, and poltergeists (collectively termed "ghostly episodes") that commenced in Part I (Hill, O'Keeffe, Laythe, Dagnall, Drinkwater, Ventola, & Houran, 2018). That analysis characterized the powerful brand personality of ghost n...
Article
A review of nearly 20 years of sociocultural research and trends on “ghostly episodes” (ghosts, haunted houses, and poltergeists) suggests that personal accounts, group investigations, and popular depictions of anomalous experiences function as active, meaningful, and potent cultural memes. These, in part, reflect interpersonal or group dynamics gr...
Article
Full-text available
A review of nearly 20 years of sociocultural research and trends on "ghostly episodes" (ghosts, haunted houses, and poltergeists) suggests that personal accounts, group investigations, and popular depictions of anomalous experiences function as active, meaningful, and potent cultural memes. These, in part, reflect interpersonal or group dynamics gr...
Article
Full-text available
Aim: This aim of this study was to assess the impact of offering victims choice in their level of engagement with restorative justice interventions. Consequently, this study compared the expected risk for reconviction, calculated using the Offender Group Reconviction Scale and actual reconviction rates for completers and non-completers of three dif...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to suggest that there was a need for a psychometric measure to assess attitudes specifically towards offenders with mental health problems. The “Community Attitudes towards the Mentally Ill” scale (CAMI; Taylor and Dear, 1981) was adapted to create a new psychometric measure; the “Police and Community Attitude...
Article
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Article
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We present analysis of factors that de-motivate software practitioners from supporting software process improvement (SPI) initiatives, using a multidimensional scaling (MDS) technique. Our findings are based on an empirical study involving nearly 200 software practitioners from 13 UK companies. Our aim is to provide managers with a better understan...
Article
Full-text available
Due to the number of investigations provided by individuals, groups and organisations into haunting experiences and the lack of any governing body, there is a need for a set of guidelines to provide investigators and members of the public with an outline for how such investigations should be conducted ethically. This paper is intended to provide a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Previous research has found that people who claim to have psychic or mediumistic abilities use language in a different manner to people who do not claim to have these abilities (e.g., O’Keeffe & Alison, 2000; Reiser & Klyver, 1982). For instance, O’Keeffe and Alison (2000) found that psychics used a wider variety of linguistic devices, such as ‘fis...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A frequent characteristic of apparitions is that the percipients experience a feeling of cold (Tyrrell, 1953). In addition, sitters at séances, have since the earliest days of spiritualism, reported apparent falls in temperature (Randall, 2001). Parapsychologists have reported a correlation between unusual temperature experiences and allegedly hau...
Article
Full-text available
Mediums claim to be able to communicate with the deceased. Such claims attract a considerable amount of public interest and, if valid, have important implications for many areas of psychology. For over 100 years, researchers have tested alleged mediums. This work has obtained mixed results and provoked a considerable amount of methodological debate...
Article
Full-text available
In cases of alleged hauntings, a large number of seemingly trustworthy witnesses consistently report experiencing unusual phenomena (e.g. apparitions, sudden changes in temperature, a strong sense of presence) in certain locations. The two studies reported here explored the psychological mechanisms that underlie this apparent evidence of 'ghostly'...
Article
Full-text available
Hampton Court Palace is reputed to be one of the most haunted places in England, with both staff and visitors reporting unusual phenomena in many areas of the building. Our investigation aimed to discover the extent to which these reports were related to three variables often proposed to account for alleged hauntings, namely, belief in ghosts, sugg...
Article
Full-text available
People routinely experience the feeling that they "knew all along" an event would occur (or fail to occur) once they learnt what actually happened. This "hindsight bias" has important implications for the field of psychology and law. We conjectured that the hindsight bias could have serious implications for aftermath judgements made following shoot...

Questions

Question (1)
Question
Hi James,
I left a comment under your project on researchgate. Am interested in your review and would love to be involved or happy to help from where I am.
Regards
Ciaran

Projects

Projects (6)
Project
Researching instances of demonic possession and the multi-disciplinary perspectives on its origin: Psychological; Psychiatric; Neurological; Paranormal. For the last 25 years I have been researching what was once regarded as 'Christian Parapsychology' - any paranormal occurrence within a Christian context. This can include, but is not limited to, claims of stigmata, levitation, gnosis (and telepathy), and possession. I've advocated for the expansion of the term to 'Religious Parapsychology' as a wealth of such phenomena exists in all religions.
Project
This project is intended to investigate the nature and psychological impact of out-of-body-experiences along with how these elements, perhaps, crossover and intertwine. The overall approach of the project will be to explore a reimagining of the out-of-body experience (OBE) through several interrelated processes. These being: (1). The reorganisation of the literature from numerous fields into one coherent and connective work. (2). The modernisation of OBE literature through synthesising recent academic literature from several fields with notable previous work. (3). From the reorganisation and modernisation of the literature explore fruitful research to move the academic understanding of OBEs forward; with an approach that seeks to explore relationships between the nature of the experience and its psychological outcomes. It is intended that parts of this project will contribute to original doctoral work, however, it is hoped that the project will lead to multiple papers and collaborative research efforts. For those interested in knowing more about this possible reimagining of OBEs, please get in touch. Further, Ross Bartlett and Dr. Matthew Smith will be giving a presentation on the subject at the Society for Psychical Research on July 18th, 2019.