Anomalistic Psychology Specification Changes

This is a PDF containing detailed changes, as written by Cara Flanagan, to the topic of anomalistic psychology. It contains a few spreads with the changes outlined.

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  • Created on: 28-10-11 13:25
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This document contains three replacement spreads.
If you view the pdf display two pages at a time you will see them as one spread.
Replacement for pages 266-267
Changes to specification:
NEW SPREAD: Deception and self-
The psychology of deception and deception removed. Probability
self-deception The role of judgments added.
coincidence and probability
judgments in anomalous experience
Explanations for superstitious NEW SPREAD: to include magical
behaviour and magical thinking thinking.
Replacement for pages 262-263
Changes to specification:
NEW SPREAD: Cognitive and
Cognitive, biological and personality biological factors removed. This spread
factors underlying anomalous now focuses solely on personality
experience factors.
New references are supplied at the end of the document.

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Page 2

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This replaces pages 262-263
A t the beginning of this chapter we considered evidence for anomalous experiences. Now
w e are going to put aside the question of whether anomalous experiences are real or not,
a nd consider why some people have anomalous experiences a nd beliefs whereas others do
n ot. Two possible explanations are examined on this spread: the way different people deal
w ith coincidence and their ability to make probability judgements.…read more

Page 3

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What is it that
separates the sheep VALIDITY OF RESEARCH
(believers) from the goats
(nonbelievers)? Are they All of the research reported here depends on two measures ­ (1) a
less intelligent? Are they measure of belief in the paranormal and (2) a measure of the target
worse at probability behaviour (e.g. probability misjudgement or locus of control). If either
judgements? Do they of these measures lack validity, then this threatens the validity of the
have flawed research findings.…read more

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This replaces pages 264-265
S uperstition and magical thinking may be the core cognitions that drive
paranormal beliefs, according to Lindeman and Aarnio (2007). They are both
examples of irrational thinking where a causal relationship has been assumed
between events that are merely correlated, for example, when a footballer
believes that wearing odd socks causes good luck. It is not easy to distinguish
between superstitions and magical thinking because the latter often underlies
the former, as you will see.…read more

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B ehaviourist explanation ­ Skinner's study (right) proposes a SKINNER'S SUPERSTITIOUS PIGEONS
theory of accidental learning to explain superstition. However this One of Skinner's most
explanation has been challenged. Staddon and Simmelhag (1971) entertaining experiments
repeated the study and observed similar ritual behaviours but they demonstrated how
realised that these behaviours were unrelated to the food reward. A superstitions could be
detailed record of the birds' behaviour showed that around the time acquired in animals.…read more

Page 6

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This replaces pages 266-267
O n the previous two spreads we have considered why some people have anomalous
e xpe
e riences whereas others do not ­ how we deal with coincidence and probability Anomalous experience and belief.
judgements, preferences for superstitious behaviour r and magical thinking explain our A lot of the research is about beliefs as
predispositions for paranormal beliefs. opposed to actual experiences but there
is an assumption that the two are linked.…read more

Page 7

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Paranormal beliefs may serve a psychological function ­ Irwin and Watt
(2007) call this the psychodynamic functions hypothesis. The question is
whether the psychological function is a symptom of an underlying
disease/maladjustment (i.e. psychopathological) or is within the normal
spectrum and merely fulfilling a psychological need.
Mental illness ­ A number of the personality factors linked to
paranormal experience/belief are characteristics of mental illness.…read more

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New references
Auton, H., Pope, J. and Seeger, G. (2003). It isn't that strange: Paranormal belief and personality traits. Social
Behavior and Personality, 7, 711-720.
Blackmore, S. and Troscianko, T. (1985). Belief in the paranormal: Probability judgments, illusory control, and the
`chance baseline shift'. British Journal of Psychology, 81, 455-468.
Clancy, S.A., McNally, R.J., Schachter, D.L., Lenzenweger, M. and Pitman, R.K. ( 2002). Memory distortion in
people reporting abduction by aliens. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 111, 455-461.
Damisch, L., Stoberock, B. and Mussweiler, T. (2010).…read more

Page 9

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Vamos, M. (2010). Organ transplantation and magical thinking' Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry,
44, 883-887.
Watt, C.A., Watson, S. and Wilson, L. (2007). Cognitive and psychological mediators of anxiety: Evidence from a
study of paranormal belief and perceived childhood control. Personality and Individual Differences, 42, 335-343.
Weinbeger, D.R. and Harrison, P. (2011). Schizophrenia. 3 edition. Wiley-Blackwell: Hoboken, NJ.
Williams, E., Francis, L.J. and Robbins, M. (2007). Personality and paranormal belief: A study among adolescents.
Pastoral Psychology, 56, 9-14.
Wilson, K.…read more



thank you so much for posting this!! so useful

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