Rational Thinking and Belief in Psychic Abilities: It Depends on Level of Involvement

Article


Stone, A. 2016. Rational Thinking and Belief in Psychic Abilities: It Depends on Level of Involvement. Psychological Reports. 118 (1), pp. 74-89.
AuthorsStone, A.
Abstract

Previous research has shown that lay believers in psychic abilities are more
prone to intuitive thinking, less inclined to rational thinking, and have an external locus of
control, compared to non-believers. Psychic practitioners, however, may have different
characteristics. Psychic practitioners (N=31; mean age = 42.7 years, s.d.=13.1), lay believers
(N=33; mean age = 33.0 years, s.d.=10.3), and non-believers (N=31; mean age = 34.4 years,
s.d.=15.4) completed questionnaires measuring thinking styles, locus of control, and psychic
belief. Comparisons of lay believers with non-believers confirmed previous observations;
believers had a higher propensity for intuitive thinking, lower propensity for rational thinking,
and more external locus of control. In contrast, practitioners were equivalent to non-believers
in rational thinking and had the highest internal locus of control. This highlights the
importance of considering level of involvement with psychic practice in understanding the
thinking styles of believers. Results suggested that practitioners may have rationalised their
beliefs and constructed a coherent model of psychic phenomena that satisfies a propensity for
rational thinking within a community of belief.

JournalPsychological Reports
Journal citation118 (1), pp. 74-89
ISSN0033-2941
Year2016
PublisherSAGE
Accepted author manuscript
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1177/0033294115625261
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.1177/0033294115625261
Publication dates
PrintFeb 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited02 Mar 2016
Copyright informationStone, Anna (2016) ‘Rational Thinking and Belief in Psychic Abilities: It Depends on Level of Involvement’, Psychological Reports, 118(1), pp. 74-89. © 2016 SAGE. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications.
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