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Predicting Belief in Paranormal Phenomena: A Comparison of Conditional and Probabilistic Reasoning

Roberts, MJ and Seager, PB (1999) 'Predicting Belief in Paranormal Phenomena: A Comparison of Conditional and Probabilistic Reasoning.' Applied Cognitive Psychology, 13 (5). 443 - 450. ISSN 0888-4080

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Abstract

Previous studies, using student participants, have investigated conditional reasoning (Wierzbicki, 1985) and probabilistic reasoning (Blackmore and Troscianko, 1985) separately as predictors of belief in paranormal phenomena. Findings show that the fewer reasoning errors made, the less likely people are to believe. The current study investigated both types of reasoning within the same analysis in order to find the extent to which each would predict paranormal belief by itself. Sixty-five non-undergraduate participants completed two self-report questionnaires to ascertain their degree of belief in the paranormal, and a reasoning test. The expected negative correlation between reasoning ability and paranormal belief was found. However, while conditional reasoning scores predicted paranormal belief (r = -0.27), probabilistic reasoning scores did not (r = 0.01). It was noted that the sample used was possibly biased, due to a lack of sufficiently sceptical participants, and that future studies may need to target people with different degrees of belief. Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Users 161 not found.
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2015 16:08
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2019 15:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/13056

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