Alien abductees reports of worldview reconstruction

Mindy Sue Kopolow (1997)

A social-cognitive trauma theory referred to as assumptive world theory (Janoff-Bulman, 1992) was utilized as a way of understanding how people who report being abducted by aliens (i.e., abductees) cope with their ordeals in the context of a society which tends not to believe their abduction accounts. According to assumptive world theory, individuals generally maintain benign assumptions about themselves and the world. However, traumata shatter these assumptions, and it is through talking, meaning-making, and social supports that trauma survivors are able to assimilate the new traumatic information and rebuild a positive worldview. Fourteen abductees were interviewed about their coping strategies and worldview reformulation in regard to their perceived abductions. Results indicated that while assumptive world theory's coping domains enabled abductee participants to adapt to their circumstances, the anomalous quality of abductions made coping difficult.