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Charles McCreery

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Name  Charles McCreery
Role  Psychologist
Parents  Richard McCreery

Books  Lucid Dreaming: The Paradox of Consciousness During Sleep
Education  New College, Oxford, Eton College

Charles Anthony Selby McCreery (born 30 June 1942) is a British psychologist and author, best known for his collaboration with Celia Green on work on hallucinatory states in normal people.



Charles McCreery was born at Stanton St. John in Oxfordshire. He is the son of General Sir Richard McCreery and Lettice, daughter of Major Lord Percy St. Maur and granddaughter of Algernon St Maur, 14th Duke of Somerset.

During the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 Charles McCreery was a page to Field Marshal Alan Brooke, and took part in the ceremony in Westminster Abbey.

McCreery was educated at Cothill House, Eton College (1955-60) and New College, Oxford (1961-64), where he read Philosophy and Psychology.

Since 1964 he has collaborated with Celia Green on a series of studies of hallucinatory experiences in ostensibly normal people, including studies of out-of-body experiences, in which people seem to perceive their own physical body ‘from outside’. From 1987-2000 he also collaborated with the Oxford psychologist Gordon Claridge on work on the theoretical construct of schizotypy.

In 1993 he was awarded a doctorate by the University of Oxford for work relating out-of-body experiences to schizotypy.

From 1996 to 2000 McCreery was Lecturer in Experimental Psychology at Magdalen College, Oxford.


The three main areas of McCreery’s work with Celia Green have been the types of hallucinatory experience known as lucid dreams (dreams in which the subject is aware that he or she is dreaming), out-of-body experiences, and apparitional experience.

McCreery with Green was the author of a book entitled Apparitions (1975). According to a survey they conducted most apparitions appear visually within three metres of the person and the experience is usually short, lasting less than a minute in many cases. McCreery and Green argued that apparitions are best explained as hallucinatory experiences.

In addition to books co-authored with Green, McCreery has published a paper proposing a theory of psychosis, linking the phenomena of psychosis, such as hallucinations and delusions, to arousability, Stage 1 sleep and dreams.

In 2006 McCreery published a paper on the implications of hallucinatory experiences of the sane for the philosophy of perception. This argues that the phenomena provide empirical support for the theory of representationalism as against that of direct realism.


  • Science, Philosophy and ESP (1967). London: Faber and Faber.
  • Psychical Phenomena and the Physical World (1973): London: Hamish Hamilton.
  • The Abolition of Genius (2012). Oxford: Oxford Forum.
  • With Celia Green:

  • Apparitions (1975). London: Hamish Hamilton.
  • Lucid Dreaming: the Paradox of Consciousness During Sleep (1994). London: Routledge.
  • Selected papers

  • ‘Hallucinations and arousability: pointers to a theory of psychosis’ (1997). In Claridge, G. (ed.): Schizotypy, Implications for Illness and Health. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • ‘Perception and hallucination: the case for continuity’. Philosophical Paper No. 2006-1, Oxford: Oxford Forum.
  • With Gordon Claridge:

  • ‘A study of hallucination in normal subjects – I. Self-report data’ (1996). Personality and Individual Differences, 21, 739-747.
  • ‘A study of hallucination in normal subjects – II. Electrophysiological data’ (1996). Personality and Individual Differences, 21, 749-758.
  • ‘Healthy schizotypy: the case of out-of-the-body experiences’ (2002). Personality and Individual Differences, 32, 141-154.
  • References

    Charles McCreery Wikipedia

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