The Relationship Between Thinking Style and Paranormal Belief
Bainton, Josie Dissertation 2010.pdf (272.0Kb)
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Irwin and Young (2002), in line with previous findings, found a relationship between thinking style and paranormal belief. This study built on their work by looking in more detail at the nature of the relationship between intuitive-experiential and analytical-rational thinking style as described by Epstein, Pacini, Denes-Raj and Heier (1996) and paranormal belief. Paranormal belief was measured in two ways, using an explicit self-report measure (the Revised Paranormal Belief Scale (Tobacyk, 2004)) scored according to Lange, Irwin and Houran’s (2000) recommendations, and an implicit association test developed in this study. Thinking style was manipulated using primes based on vignettes used by Epstein, Lipson, Holstein and Huh (1992). Two hundred and one participants completed the experiment online. Intuitive-experiential thinking style was found to be related to New Age Philosophy (NAP) and Traditional Paranormal Belief (TPB), but no significant relationship was found between analytical-rational style and explicit paranormal belief. Some evidence was found that thinking style may have been manipulated according to priming condition, but this was not conclusive. No relationship was found between manipulation of thinking style and paranormal belief. The implicit measure of paranormal belief showed no relationship with the explicit measure and also no relationship with thinking style or manipulation of thinking style. These findings are discussed with reference to experimental design, theory regarding association and dissociation between alternative measures of paranormal belief, measuring paranormal belief more generally and broader theories regarding the psychology of paranormal belief.