Common Paranormal Belief Dimensions

Neil Dagnall, Andrew Parker, Gary Munley, Kenneth Drinkwater

Abstract


Several measures of paranormal belief have been developed and employed by researchers of published work. Despite this, there is considerable debate about the nature and structure of paranormal belief. Particularly, authors remain uncertain about which belief subsets should be included within paranormal scales. The current study extended existing research by exploring shared variance across different paranormal measures. An extensive literature review was undertaken in order to identify measures of paranormal belief. The independent scale items were then combined to produce a 124item composite measure. This was distributed in paper form and electronically via the Internet. Respondents were recruited face to face, by email, and by post. In total, 1,481 respondents completed the measure: 548 the paper version and 933 online. Exploratory factor analysis (principal components analysis) was performed, and a nine-factor structure emerged. This contained item clusters measuring belief in: Hauntings, Other Life, Superstition, Religious Belief, Alien Visitation, Extrasensory Perception (ESP), Psychokinesis (PK), Astrology, and Witchcraft.

Keywords: paranormal beliefs—Paranormal Belief Scale (PBS)—R-PBS— Paranormal Short Inventory (PSI) —Australian Sheep–Goat Scale (ASGS)—Anomalous Experiences Inventory (AEI)

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