A Revised Paranormal Belief Scale
ABSTRACT A 26-item Revised Paranormal Belief Scale is introduced which provides a measure of degree of belief in each of seven dimensions: Traditional Religious Belief, Psi, Witchcraft, Superstition,Spiritualism, Extraordinary Life Forms, and Precognition. Improvements from the original 25- item Paranormal Belief Scale (Tobacyk & Milford, 1983) include adoption of a seven-point ratingscale as well as item changes for three subscales: Precognition, Witchcraft, and Extraordinary Life Forms. These improvements provide greater reliability and validity, less restriction of range,and greater cross-cultural validity.
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ABSTRACT: Magical thinking has been proposed to have an aetiological role in obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). To address the limitations of existing measures of magical thinking we developed and validated a new 24-item measure of magical thinking, the Illusory Beliefs Inventory (IBI). The validation sample comprised a total of 1194 individuals across two samples recruited via an Internet based survey. Factor analysis identified three subscales representing domains relevant to the construct of magical thinking: Magical Beliefs, Spirituality, and Internal State and Thought Action Fusion. The scale had excellent internal consistency and evidence of convergent and discriminant validity. Evidence of criterion-related concurrent validity confirmed that magical thinking is a cognitive domain associated with OCD and is largely relevant to neutralizing, obsessing and hoarding symptoms. It is important for future studies to extend the evidence of the psychometric properties of the IBI in new populations and to conduct longitudinal studies to examine the aetiological role of magical thinking.Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy 05/2011; 40(1):39-53. · 1.69 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The belief in paranormal phenomena is a frequently studied topic. Studies predominantly assess explicit (i.e., conscious) parts of paranormal belief (PB) using questionnaire-based self-report measures which are prone to impression management and social desirability tendencies. In order to investigate the usefulness of measuring implicit (i.e., automatic) PB, we developed a PB Implicit Association Test (PB-IAT). Implicit PB was uncorrelated with explicit PB, but moderated the relationship between explicit PB and participants’ knowledge of paranormal phenomena. Participants with a weak implicit PB did not differ in their knowledge scores regardless of whether they had strong or weak explicit PB. But participants with strong implicit PB had higher scores when they also had strong explicit PB compared to participants with weak explicit PB. These results suggest that discrepant configurations of PB impair performance in a knowledge test about paranormal phenomena.Personality and Individual Differences 04/2013; 54(5):562–565. · 1.88 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Cognitive theories of religion have postulated several cognitive biases that predispose human minds towards religious belief. However, to date, these hypotheses have not been tested simultaneously and in relation to each other, using an individual difference approach. We used a path model to assess the extent to which several interacting cognitive tendencies, namely mentalizing, mind body dualism, teleological thinking, and anthropomorphism, as well as cultural exposure to religion, predict belief in God, paranormal beliefs and belief in life's purpose. Our model, based on two independent samples (N=492 and N=920) found that the previously known relationship between mentalizing and belief is mediated by individual differences in dualism, and to a lesser extent by teleological thinking. Anthropomorphism was unrelated to religious belief, but was related to paranormal belief. Cultural exposure to religion (mostly Christianity) was negatively related to anthropomorphism, and was unrelated to any of the other cognitive tendencies. These patterns were robust for both men and women, and across at least two ethnic identifications. The data were most consistent with a path model suggesting that mentalizing comes first, which leads to dualism and teleology, which in turn lead to religious, paranormal, and life's-purpose beliefs. Alternative theoretical models were tested but did not find empirical support.Cognition 08/2013; 129(2):379-391. · 3.16 Impact Factor