Paranormal Belief and Personality Traits
This study looks at the relation between the belief in the paranormal and different personality traits. There are two ways of looking at belief in the paranormal this study will look at the people who believe and those who somewhat believe and analyze their personalities traits. Hypothesis:
This study examined two contrasting views of paranormal belief which suggest, in one camp, that belief in the paranormal is indicative of psychopathology. On the other hand, a number of researcher have disagreed with this viewpoint, suggesting that such a belief is not an indicator of psychopathology, but the fulfillment of some other underlying need. This study was designed to assess the personality traits of those we would we would consider to be high and low believers in parapsychology. Method:
The participants in this study were undergraduate college students mostly freshmen and sophomores who were enrolled in introductory level psychology classes. There were 105 students involved in the study with an age range from 18 to 44 the gender breakdown of participants consisted of 46 men and 59 women whose average age was 20.19 years old. The participants were administered the Paranormal Belief Scale (Tobacyk & Milford, 1983), The Anomalous Experience Inventory (Kumar, Pekala, & Gallagher, 1994), the Personality Research Form (Jackson, 1984), and a general questionnaire. The questionnaire consisted of basic questions about demographics and any experience or preconceptions about the paranormal. The coefficient alphas for the Paranormal Belief Scale were .93 and .91. Alphas for the subscales range from .69-.85 and .49-.74. Using the Paranormal Belief Scale participants were broken into groups of high and low believer’s base on a scale of 25-125 with high believers obtaining a score of 80 and low believers obtaining a score of 63. Each scale was administered in a class room setting and was untimed although the study took approximately 60 minutes to complete. Upon completion each participant was released and received a debriefing letter after the study. Results and Discussion:
The results of this study showed that the high believers of the paranormal were more than likely to have friends with similar beliefs; they also are more likely to watch shows and read books based on paranormal subjects. The study also showed that more of the high believers had imaginary friends as they were growing up. Also high believers attended church less than those in the low believer’s category and didn’t look at themselves as very religious in comparison to low believers. The test also shows a distinct difference in gender with females scoring significantly higher than males on the (PBS) scale. There was also a series of ANOVAs (analysis of variance) that revealed a significant difference on four of the PRF scales Abasement, Aggression, Defendence, and Sentience these finding represent that there was not a strong enough relationship between these scales and the PBS to suggest a significant difference when examining high vs. low believers. However women scored higher than the men on Aggression and Defendence while men scored higher on Abasement. Critique:
When initially reviewing this study to make a determination on which research example that I was going to focus on for my paper. I found that I was really interested in what the outcome of this research would be based on the amount of research that I am aware of that has been done on the study of the paranormal. This particular research was really interesting to me as it attempted to assess the personality traits of those who could be considered either high and/or low believers in parapsychology. According to other studies a person who believes in the paranormal is considered psychologically dysfunctional.
This study used what I feel was a small segment of the population for such a broad subject that seems to have so many...
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