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October 2021

Critical thinking and belief in the paranormal : A re-evaluation (Part I)

Author(s): Roe, C. A.

Journal/Book: Brit J Psychol. 1999; 90: 85-98.

Abstract: This paper evaluates the claim that believers in the paranormal exhibit poor critical thinking ability relative to disbelievers, as manifested in their inability to evaluate the competence of experimental abstracts. It is argued that such differences reported elsewhere (Alcock and Otis, 1980; Gray and Mill, 1990) may be accountable for in terms of the action of cognitive dissonance, or as due to experimental artifacts. A study was conducted which attempted to overcome earlier methodological shortcomings, and which assessed the cognitive dissonance account of differential performance. Altogether, 117 participants were characterized as believers, neutrals or disbelievers according to tly conducted and analysed than those who rated the congruent paper, in keeping with the cognitive dissonance account.

Keyword(s): eval. paranormal.

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