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Type: Journal article
Title: Believe it or not: II. An exploratory study on possible predictors of paranormal belief
Author: Billows, H.
Storm, L.
Citation: Australian Journal of Parapsychology, 2015; 15(2):141-165
Publisher: Australian Institute of Parapsychological
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 1445-2308
Statement of
Helen Billows and Lance Storm
Abstract: The main aim of this exploratory study was to determine new or not fully investigated correlates of paranormal belief as discerned in the following four hypotheses: (i) ‘social marginality’ hypothesis, (ii) ‘worldview’ hypothesis, (iii) ‘cognitive deficits’ hypothesis, and (iv) ‘psychodynamic functions’ hypothesis. Paranormal belief (PB) was measured using Thalbourne’s (1995a) Rasch-scaled Australian Sheep-Goat Scale (RASGS) and the Basic Limiting Principles Questionnaire (BLPQ; Thalbourne, 2010). In our previous study (Billows & Storm, 2015), mean PB scores (both scales) were significantly higher for females compared to males. Both PB scales correlated significantly with conceivability (imagination), but not with depression or locus of control. In this second study, we hypothesized that PB correlates positively with religiosity (measured on Haraldsson’s, 1981, Religiosity Scale; RS), and negatively with income, education, problem-solving (i.e., reasoning), and trait reactance (measured on Hong & Faedda’s, 1996, Psychological Reactance Scale; HPRS). The same participants (N = 149) sampled in the Billows and Storm study provided demographic details, and completed the ASGS, BLPQ, the RS, the 16PF Factor B (Reasoning) scale, and the HPRS. PB correlated positively and significantly with religiosity, but not with income, education, reasoning, and reactance. PB varied significantly between religions, but not between levels of income and education. This research has made some new contributions to the literature on paranormal belief, but findings should be considered tentative pending replication.
Keywords: Australian Sheep-Goat Scale; Basic Limiting Principles Questionnaire; cognitive deficits hypothesis; paranormal belief; psychodynamic functions hypothesis; social marginality hypothesis; worldview hypothesis
Rights: © 2015 AIPR, Inc.
RMID: 0030045769
Published version:;dn=691268731123693;res=IELHSS
Appears in Collections:Psychology publications

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