Sensitivity to coincidences and paranormal belief
2011 (English)In: Perceptual and Motor Skills, ISSN 0031-5125, Vol. 113, no 3, 894-908 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Often it is difficult to find a natural explanation as to why a surprising coincidence occurs. In attempting to find one, people may be inclined to accept paranormal explanations. The objective of this study was to investigate whether people with a lower threshold for being surprised by coincidences have a greater propensity to become believers compared to those with a higher threshold. Participants were exposed to artificial coincidences, which were formally defined as less or more probable, and were asked to provide remarkability ratings. Paranormal belief was measured by the Australian Sheep-Goat Scale. An analysis of the remarkability ratings revealed a significant interaction effect between Sheep-Goat score and type of coincidence, suggesting that people with lower thresholds of surprise, when experiencing coincidences, harbor higher paranormal belief than those with a higher threshold. The theoretical aspects of these findings were discussed.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 113, no 3, 894-908 p.
coincidences, paranormal belief
Research subject Psychology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-70429DOI: 10.2466/09.22.PMS.113.6.894-908ISI: 000299754700018OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-70429DiVA: diva2:481210
The authors thank their friend and colleague, Dr. Jan Dalkvist, for his theoretical and practical support during the progress of this work.2012-01-202012-01-202013-11-01Bibliographically approved