Video: Psychological Scientists Explained Belief In Psychics - Research
In the modern high-tech world, many people continue to believe in human paranormal abilities. Skeptics usually attribute this attitude to extrasensory perception, telepathy, the gift of foresight to a lack of education and intelligence, but new research refutes their hypothesis. Believers and non-believers in the paranormal are distinguished only by different degrees of development of analytical abilities.
Psychologists Stephen J. Gray and David A. Gallo of the University of Chicago published Skepticism and Trust in the Paranormal: An Expanded Exploration of Cognitive Differences in February 2016 in Memory and Cognition. In it, they cited the results of their experiment, repeated three times on three groups of 50 people from 18 to 35 years old, who were selected for an equal level of education and intelligence.
Initially, all participants passed a special test for confidence in extrasensory perception and mysticism - the so-called "goat and sheep" test from Australian scientists with direct questions about belief in predicting the future, life after death, the absence of accidents in the sublunary world, etc. According to the answers of the subjects just and divided into three groups (the most gullible, neutrals and skeptics). They were awaited by a variety of tasks on receptivity, memory, analytical skills and "craving for knowledge."
It is noteworthy that both memory and craving for cognition (willingness to work mentally) were practically the same for all participants. A large percentage of respondents also demonstrated receptivity. Thus, in the test for "memorizing" the named words, almost all subjects necessarily named the unifying concepts or the most famous synonyms for the words they heard, although these words were not actually uttered in the task.
Or, for example, the participants were asked to present in detail, to imagine in the most vital way that a certain event happened to them in childhood that did not exist in reality. A week later, many were already ready to admit that perhaps something similar had happened to them - this is how psychologists analyzed their susceptibility to false memories and general suggestibility.
On all these points, the participants were equal. But with analytical skills it turned out differently. Skeptics turned out to be many times stronger in associative (search for a common concept, for example) and logical (simple mathematical or linguistic progressions) tests. From this, scientists concluded that people loyal to the paranormal are worse at analyzing the world around them.
Additional questions made it possible to understand that such people believe more in all kinds of conspiracy theories and are able to evaluate their own life experiences with less objectivity.
A funny detail: among lovers of psychics and predictors there is a very high percentage of those whose mood and behavior during the day directly depends on the dream seen at night. By the way, they are also more susceptible to external influence: about 70% of the "gullible" participants in the experiment confirmed that their environment shares with them a "belief" in the paranormal.
Belief in psychics and their paranormal abilities is characteristic of people in all countries of the world. So, according to a survey conducted by the All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion (VTsIOM) at the end of 2015, in Russia, about half of the population (48%) believes that some people have witchcraft and are capable of causing damage, trust in “traditional healers” and treatment a little more than a third of our fellow citizens experience diseases by hypnosis or biofield, 16% of respondents consider it possible to communicate with the souls of the dead, 31% of compatriots believe in astrological forecasts.