The structure and measurement of unusual sensory experiences in different modalities: The Multi-Modality unusual sensory experiences questionnaire (MUSEQ)

Claire A. A. Mitchell, Murray T. Maybery, Suzanna N. Russell-Smith, Daniel Collerton, Gilles E. Gignac, Flavie Waters

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Hallucinations and other unusual sensory experiences (USE) can occur in all modalities in the general population. Yet, the existing literature is dominated by investigations into auditory hallucinations ("voices"), while other modalities remain under-researched. Furthermore, there is a paucity of measures which can systematically assess different modalities, which limits our ability to detect individual and group differences across modalities. The current study explored such differences using a new scale, the Multi-Modality Unusual Sensory Experiences Questionnaire (MUSEQ). The MUSEQ is a 43-item self-report measure which assesses USE in six modalities: auditory, visual, olfactory, gustatory, bodily sensations, and sensed presence. Scale development and validation involved a total of 1,300 participants, which included: 513 students and community members for initial development, 32 individuals with schizophrenia spectrum disorder or bipolar disorder for validation, 659 students for factor replication, and 96 students for test-retest reliability. Confirmatory factor analyses showed that a correlated-factors model and bifactor model yielded acceptable model fit, while a unidimensional model fitted poorly. These findings were confirmed in the replication sample. Results showed contributions from a general common factor, as well as modality-specific factors. The latter accounted for less variance than the general factor, but could still detect theoretically meaningful group differences. The MUSEQ showed good reliability, construct validity, and could discriminate non-clinical and clinical groups. The MUSEQ offers a reliable means of measuring hallucinations and other USE in six different modalities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1363
Number of pages18
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 11 Aug 2017

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