Anomalistic Psychology (Part 2)

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  • Created by: Natalie
  • Created on: 08-06-14 18:36
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  • Anomalistic Psychology (2)
    • Coincidence
      • Illusion of Causality
      • Illusion of Control
        • When people make links between events, they feel they are more in control - make the world seem more orderly - reduces anxiety
        • Whitson and Galinsky (2008)
          • Showed people given a reduced sense of control were more likely to be superstitious
          • Benefit - prepares us for unpredictable circumstances rather than withdraw from them
          • There is no real basis for superstition but it may help people deal with challenges
          • Can also reduce anxiety
      • General Cognitive Ability
        • Believers are less intelligent and therefore less able to accurately judge whether or not there is a causal link between things
        • Wiseman and Watt (2006)
          • Concluded syllogistic reasoning is what makes the difference between believers and non-believers - not general cognitive ability
          • Suggests that general cognitive ability may be too diverse to provide a good explanation
        • New Scientist survey indicated that 67% of readers regarded ESP as a fact or a likely possibility
          • Shows cognitive ability does not have a simple relationship with belief in the paranormal
        • Brugger (2002)
          • People with high levels of dopamine are more likely to find significance in coincidence
          • When non-believers were given L-dopa they had increased dopamine levels and were more likely to see faces that weren't there.
          • Shows that errors of judgement in terms of coincidence may be due to high levels of dopamine
    • Probability
      • Believers in the paranormal underestimate the probability of things occurring by chance
      • Blackmore and Troscianko (1985)
        • Asked p's questions including the birthday party paradox
        • More goats than sheep got the answer right
      • Musch and Ehrenberg (2002)
        • Controlled for differences in general cognitive ability
        • found this reduced performance differences between believers and non-believers on probability judgments to 0
        • Indicates poor probability judgments are due to low cognitive ability


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