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ERIC Number: EJ898951
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Feb-7
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 18
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1088-7423
Social Influences on Paranormal Belief: Popular versus Scientific Support
Ridolfo, Heather; Baxter, Amy; Lucas, Jeffrey W.
Current Research in Social Psychology, v15 n3 Feb 2010
Paranormal claims enjoy relatively widespread popular support despite by definition being rejected by the scientific community. We propose that belief in paranormal claims is influenced by how popular those claims are as well as by dominant scientific views on the claims. We additionally propose that individuals will be most likely to be positively influenced by the views of science when claims are unpopular. An experimental study varied instructions to participants in a 2x2 design which informed participants that a particular paranormal belief/claim (ESP) was very popular or not and was rejected by science or not. Participants then watched a brief video that appeared to present evidence of ESP. As predicted, participants became more likely to believe in ESP when claims were more popular. Contrary to predictions, participants appeared to react against the views of science when evaluating claims, particularly when they believed those claims were unpopular. This finding may reflect decreasing trust in the institution of science. (Contains 3 endnotes.)
Center for the Study of Group Processes. Available from: University of Iowa, Department of Sociology. Iowa City, IA 52242. Tel: 319-335-2503; Fax: 319-335-2509; Web site: http://www.uiowa.edu/~grpproc/crisp/crisp.html
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: N/A