Comparing Religious and Paranormal Believers

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Abstract

Are religious believers different from paranormal believers? Using data from a survey designed to measure the relationship between paranormal experiences and beliefs, we evaluated the relationships between religious and ghost beliefs, paranormal experiences, and measures of personality. Comparing between 4 groups (skeptics, religious believers, paranormal believers, and double believers), we identified experience and personality variables that differed between the groups. We found belief-behavior relationships for religious and ghost beliefs, but these relationships were mediated by different variables. Correlation analyses revealed a distinct pattern of associations between personality variables and religious belief, as compared with personality variables and ghost belief. The data suggest that religious believers and paranormal believers are different and point the way to additional research focusing on these differences.

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