May 21, 2007

Who’s superstitious?

altered states,naturalism — thomasr @ 3:28 am Print This Post  AddThis Social Bookmark Button

superstition.jpgWhat makes some people supersticious, or believe in the paranormal? In the latest issue of the Journal of Research in Personality, researchers Marjaana Lindeman and Kia Aarnio from Helsinki, Finland, first set out by conceptually distinguishing between the concepts of superstition, magical beliefs and paranormal beliefs. All concepts are commonly identified as “a confusion of core knowledge about physical, psychological, and biological phenomena”. Then, by applying a self-report questionnaire, they show that superstitious individuals accepted more violations of core ontological distinctions, and that “ontological confusions discriminated believers from skeptics better than intuitive thinking, analytical thinking, or emotional instability”. The report is available as a preprint here (PDF).

Abstract:

Superstitious, magical, and paranormal beliefs: An integrative model

Lack of conceptual clarity has hampered theory formation and research on superstitious, magical, and paranormal beliefs. This study offers a conceptual framework where these concepts are differentiated from other unfounded beliefs and defined identically as a confusion of core knowledge about physical, psychological, and biological phenomena. When testing this definition with questionnaire items (N = 239), the results showed that superstitious individuals accepted more violations of core ontological distinctions than skeptics did and that ontological confusions discriminated believers from skeptics better than intuitive thinking, analytical thinking, or emotional instability. The findings justify the present conceptualization of superstitious, magical, and paranormal beliefs, and offer new theoretical propositions for the familiar everyday beliefs that are yet scientifically so poorly understood.

2 Comments »

  1. [...] read more | digg story [...]

    Pingback by Gary Stapleton - Paranormal Investigator » Blog Archive » What makes some people supersticious, or believe in the paranormal? — June 10, 2007 @ 10:12 am

  2. why are some people superstitios?

    Comment by trang — August 28, 2007 @ 11:05 pm

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