Starseeds: Psychologists on why some people believe they are aliens living on Earth

The conversationThere is a new group of people on Earth who believe they are aliens. Star People or Starseeds are individuals who believe they came to Earth from other dimensions to help heal the planet and lead humanity into the “Golden Age” – a time of great happiness, prosperity and success.

It might sound a little crazy, but an internet search for the term brings up over 4 million results and there are dozens of people posting videos on TikTok, Instagram and Facebook who think they are from another world. In fact, content with the term #starseed has over 1 billion views on TikTok.

Unlike “Earth Souls” who are said to be reborn on Earth, Starseeds believe they have reawakened from another planet to be born here. Starseeds believe that they are conduits between divine realms and the earth and that they can transport between galaxies through meditation. Starseeds also believe they can communicate in “light language” – a form of communication said to bypass human limitations and is the language of the soul.

The idea is widely credited to author Brad Steiger, who wrote prolifically about the unknown and took a keen interest in extraterrestrial life and extraterrestrials. In his 1976 book Gods of Aquarius, Steiger introduced his idea that some humans are from other dimensions.

Believers claim that there are several ways to determine if you are a Starseed. This includes the search for meaning in life and the feeling of missing belonging. Being spiritual and possessing a strong sense of intuition (knowledge) are also qualities of a Starseed.

They are also said to be empathetic and sensitive and have more physical and mental health issues as their souls are not used to having a human body. Starseeds want to help humanity. But they are overwhelmed by life on Earth and recharge their batteries by spending time alone.

Believers also say that Starseeds have a desire to explore and experience new cultures and realms that help Star People then bring new glimpses into existence. Examples are new (conspiracy) theories about society, holistic health interventions and thoughts about ancient aliens and civilizations.

choose your reality

Perhaps you recognize some aspects of yourself in the above description. For example, many people report that they are looking for meaning in life and sometimes feel pushed aside or not belonging.

In fact, research shows that a low sense of belonging is often associated with depression. But what makes some people who experience such feelings conclude that they must be from another planet? Especially given that no life outside of Earth has ever been found and there is no evidence that extraterrestrial life has ever visited Earth.

Welcome to the Forer Effect. Named after Bertram Forer, the psychologist who first discovered that it’s fairly easy to get people to agree with vague descriptions of themselves – see horoscopes.

The Starseed concept is a form of New Age belief. The term refers to alternative spiritual practices that developed in the 1970s.

Although each New Age belief is different, philosophies share common characteristics: they view existence in terms of the universe and focus on both spirituality and the self. Think crystals, energy healing, and psychic abilities.

Other features include reincarnation, karma, and the ability to reach a higher level of consciousness.

Support for New Age beliefs – like Starseeds – is increasing. It springs from a mistrust of science and doubts about conventional perceptions of reality. In particular, cynicism towards modern society and trying to make sense of life.

Fantasy vs Fiction

Certain personality traits can also lead some people to believe in the notion of starseeds. For example, if you are prone to fantasies and often confuse imaginary and real events, you may find the theory of extraterrestrial consciousness profound and desirable.

In psychological terms, this is known as source monitoring error, which is a type of unconscious memory error in which a person becomes confused between what is real and accurate and what is unreal and imagined.

It’s commonly seen in schizophrenia, and research has found links between schizotypal personality disorder — a common disorder thought to be a mild form of schizophrenia — and belief in conspiracy theories.

Another effect that can promote such beliefs is what is known as ontological confusion. This occurs when people cannot distinguish between metaphorical and factual statements, such as, “Old furniture knows something about the past.” These can be interpreted literally rather than metaphorically, making people more likely to support pseudoscientific, transcendental theories .

This is especially true when the information source is perceived to be trustworthy and knowledgeable. Referred to as the Einstein Effect, trustworthy sources of information are given more credibility here because of their social credibility.

In the case of Starseeds, multiple books released by major publishers can add a sense of authenticity, as can the fact that some of them are bestsellers. In fact, life as we know it doesn’t seem to be as easy as we once imagined.The conversation

Ken Drinkwater, Lecturer and Researcher in Cognitive and Parapsychology, Manchester Metropolitan University; Andrew Denovan, Lecturer in Psychology, University of Huddersfield and Neil Dagnall, Lecturer in Applied Cognitive Psychology, Manchester Metropolitan University

This article was republished by The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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