Fantasy prone personality  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Fantasy prone personality (FPP) is a disposition or personality trait in which a person experiences an extensive and deep involvement in fantasy.

Characteristic features

A fantasy prone person is reported to spend a large portion of his or her time fantasizing, have vividly intense fantasies, have paranormal experiences, and have intense religious experiences. The fantasies may include dissociation and sexual fantasies. People with FPP are reported to spend over half of their time awake fantasizing or daydreaming and will often confuse or mix their fantasies with their real memories. They also report out-of-body experiences. People with Fantasy Prone Personality are more likely to have had parents, or closely related family members that have made their inanimate toys as children seem real. They also encourage the child who believes they have imaginary friends, reads fairytales all through childhood and re-enacts the things they have read. Children who at a young age were involved in creative fantasy activities like piano, ballet, and drawing are more likely to obtain a fantasy prone personality. This is due to the child being emotionally involved into these activities. Acting is also a way for children to "become" different people and characters which can make the child prone to fantasy like dreams as they grow up. This creates the person to grow up thinking they have experienced certain things and they can visualize a certain occurrence from the training they obtained while being involved in plays. A person who has a lonely and isolated life is also prone to this personality disorder to create a fulfilling life. Sigmund Freud also stated that "unsatisfied wishes are the driving power behind fantasies, every separate fantasy contains the fulfillment of a wish, and unproves an unsatisfactory reality." This shows that being lonely you create a fantasy world of happiness to fill the void. Young children who once were treated with abuse and had a parent leave created a world of fantasies to escape from reality.

Wilson and Barber also put forth 14 characteristics in their 1981 study. They require having 6 or more of these traits to be diagnosed with "Fantasy Proneness". These are:

  1. excellent hypnotic subject
  2. having imaginary friends as child
  3. fantasizing often as child
  4. having an actual 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 experiences
  10. receiving information from higher powers, spirits, intelligences
  11. involved in "healing"
  12. encountered apparitions
  13. hypnogogic hallucinations (waking dreams)
  14. seeing hypnogogic hallucinations (ghosts, aliens, etc.)

More Characteristics outside of the Wilber Study

  1. claiming to have been abducted
  2. believes they can receive sexual satisfaction without any stimulation
  3. believes they have mystical healing and can do great things

Research has shown that fantasizers often had a large amount of exposure to fantasy during childhood. People have reported that they believed their dolls and stuffed animals were living creatures and that their parents encouraged them to indulge in their fantasies and daydreams. For example, one subject in Barrett’s study said her parents’ formula response to her requests for expensive toys was, “You could take this . . .(household object) and with a little imagination, it would look just like . . . (that $200-whatever-Susie-just-got).” And she reported, “this worked for me—although Susie couldn’t quite always see it.” Fantasy prone people generally functioned well in their adult life.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Fantasy prone personality" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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