Assessment of Auditory hallucinations

By: Thea Louise Jordal Vikanes

It is a symptom usually associated with different neurological medical conditions. Moreover, it is estimated that about 10-15% of all healthy individuals in the general population. When someone experiences auditory hallucinations, they hear sounds in the absence of the corresponding stimulus from the external world. 

Furthermore, it is difficult to know what causes auditory hallucinations. However, there are evidence and theories that identify several etiological factors. Firstly, it has been associated with failure in metacognitive skills that are involved in differentiating between self-generated and external sources of information or other mental disorders, such as psychosis or schizophrenia. During the assessment, it is prime to obtain detailed histories from the patient especially regarding psychiatric diagnosis, substance use, trauma, medication, and family history of psychiatric illness (Thakur, 2021).

To double-check that you have collected correct information, the psychologist can collect collateral information by interviewing the people central to the patient's life. Another technique is to use repeated interviewing, to see if their answer changes over time.  

Furthermore, it is necessary to differentiate between auditory hallucinations and auditory illusions, vivid auditory imaginary, and abnormal beliefs. Moreover, one question frequently asked when investigating this is “whether the experience is closer to a real external voice rather than a thought” (Waters, 2010). At last, when a diagnosis is found there are different treatments and therapies that can be applied like Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. 


Thakur T, Gupta V. (2021) StatPearls: Auditory Hallucinations. Retrieved  from:

Waters, F. (2010). Psychiatric Times Vol 27 No 3, Volume 27, Issue 3: Auditory Hallucinations in Psychiatric Illness. Retrieved from:

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