The Greyson NDE Scale and My NDE Score

I thought some of you might be interested in seeing how my near-death experience (NDE) stacks up against the research.

Psychiatrist and longtime NDE researcher, Dr. Bruce Greyson, has developed a scoring system to classify near-death experiences. If you're unfamiliar with the scale, you can see a copy of it here. While NDEs are inherently tough to quantify, Dr. Greyson has, I think, done a great job of coming up with a basic scale we can use to classify the depth of someone's experience. The questions in his scoring system try to put numbers to the intensity of a particular NDE in four key areas:

  • Cognitive - components relating to thought processes
  • Affective - components relating to feelings or emotions
  • Paranormal - components relating to psychic abilities, such as seeing the future
  • Transcendental - components relating to spirituality or enlightenment
You might be wondering how my NDE scored. Well, I was curious about that too, so I took the assessment this morning. Here's what I came up with:

My overall NDE score:  25
  • Cognitive: 5
  • Affective: 7
  • Paranormal: 6
  • Transcendental: 7
Keep in mind that it's tough to put numbers to such a subjective experience, but I think the result is interesting, at least. 

According to Dr. Greyson, an overall NDE score of 7 or higher is needed for the experience to be considered a true NDE in research circles. The mean (average) score among a large sample of near-death experiencers in his studies was 15. 

What do I make out of all of this? 

I already knew in my own heart that my experience was real, and that it was significant for me. And other people have told me that my experience has been helpful or comforting to them as well, so it feels great to be helping other people.

But I was surprised that my experience scored as high as it did. I guess since I don't have  much experience with NDEs, I didn't know how it would be categorized by others, so this classification system gives me a sense of validation at the same time. By that I mean that it feels comforting to know that my NDE is considered "real" in research circles (yes, I still have a little scientist locked away in my brain). I don't really care if my score is "better" or "worse" than someone else's, though. What I do care about is that I know that it can contribute something positive to the growing body knowledge coming from NDE research.

More details, including my thoughts, are in the book: Awakenings from the Light.

All content copyright Nancy Rynes, 2014. Please read disclaimer and Legal Notes here.