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Definition: When two unrelated events happen at the Brugger et al: a set of believers and non-believers
same time. Many anomalistic experiences are simply were shown a set of scrambled words and faces and
down to mis-understanding a coincidence. Two things real ones as well. Believers were more likely to see
happen together by chance, but you make a mistake the scrambled faces are real. They used the drugs L.
and start to think one caused another to explain this dopa C non believers behaved more like the
cause you need a paranormal non-scientific explanation. believers. Burger suggests this is an adaptive
advantage, it is better to think there is tiger in a bush
Walking under a ladder: rather then to miss it completely.
Event 1: walked under a
ladder paint bucket fell on
Event 2: walking a under a
ladder is bad luck avoid this. Finding links that aren't
ANOMOLISTIC really there: Such as seeing
Same applies for when your
pet knows your coming PSYCHOLOGY a spherical objects in the sky
home other factors can effect THEME B and believing it to be a UFO,
this hearing etc... or dreaming that your cat
COINCIDENCE. had died and waking up to
Illusion of Control: Some people seek One of the strengths of the find out that it is true. In
explanation for coincidence because study was the lack of control other words you see a
such explanations give them a sense of was manipulated by the pattern that doesn't exists.
control and order in the world and experimenters (by only asking Brugger et al, found that
increase their feelings for control. some participants to recall some people with high
Researchers have found that `sheep' situations where they felt in levels of dopamine in their
believers show a greater illusion of control), so it was a causal brain are more likely to find
control. A study by Whitson and Galinsky variables. Validity: How can a meaning on coincidence
(2008) found that reduced control led to you measure sceptics and when there isn't one there.
participants to detect patterns where believers? Manipulation over (study continues above)
there were none and form illusory participant variables. The
correlations between un-related events. validity of the questionnaire.…read more

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Brugger AO2: The ability should not be viewed Determinism: believe that this ability is caused
negatively; it is likely that similar characteristics underlie through our genes and previous evolutionary
creativity. In fact researchers find a link between experiences. We are evolved to make links suggests
creativity and paranormal beliefs. (Thalbourne 1998) we have no control, in coincidence or not. We can
They all rely on the questionnaires if they are not valid often over ride this most times. Reductionists: It is
then the entire study is meaningless. too simplistic there can be other factors for this. For
example biological > neuron receptors > dopamine.
Another one could be personality factors having a
Evolutionary explanations: `sheep' personality. This is an un-falsifiable theory it
we have evolved to make is not a scientific theory as it offers a POST-HOC
type 1 errors when it comes to explanation.
significance, because it keeps
us safe type 2 errors kill! ANOMOLISTIC
The finding that poor cognitive COINCIDENCE 2
ability is associated with
paranormal experiences/belief
that hasn't been confirmed in
all studies, in fact some Causal Link: in with type 1
researchers have found the and type 2 errors: Null
exact opposite. (too hypothesis with the
deterministic, too reductionists) mushrooms have no effect
According to new scientists at all. Alternative hypothesis
readers those that are mainly the mushrooms can cause
scientists and engineers 67% death! Type 1 error rejects
regarded ESP either an the null and accepts the
established factor or likely alternative describing the
possibly. link between the two.…read more

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Probability: Refers to the likelihood of an event
occurring, such as the likelihood that a horse will win a Contrasting research evidence: Not all research
race or that a coin will come down as heads. Some has found a difference between believers and
people are better at judging events then others, some nonbelievers in terms of probability judgements. For
believers underestimate the probability of two events example the study by Blackmore and (1997)
occurring together and therefore reject coincidence as concluded that both believers and nonbelievers are
an explanation of events. Thus Blackmore and equally accurate probability judgements. One reason
Tronscianko suggest paranormal experiences are a kind for the different findings from various studies may lie
a cognitive illusion. Which accurately misjudges in the way belief is determined, as discussed, In
probability. many studies a general scale is used whereas in
Blackmore's study there was simply one question
about whether the participant believed in ESP.
The result that certain people
underestimate probability and ANOMOLISTIC
Conjunction Ability:
attribute causality when in fact PSYCHOLOGY Rogers et al (2008) tested
the events are completely THEME B probability judgement by
random. giving participants 16
conjunction vignettes-
JUDGEMENTS descriptions of occasions
Repetition Avoidance: One of the where two events co-occur,
methods used to test probability Questions about personality: such as getting food
judgement (or misjudgement) is repetition Blackmore and Tronscianko poisoning when eating
avoidance in generating number patterns. (85) asked participants various something after you have
Participants are asked to produce a questions including the birthday read your horoscope that
random string of letters and the number party paradox- how many turned out to be true.
of repetition was counted. In a true series people would you need at a Participants were asked to
of random numbers repetition will occur. party for you to share the same indicate the probability of
Brugger et al: (90) found that `sheep' are birthday as them, the correct such events co-occurring ,
more likely to avoid repetition and that answer overall was 23. sheep made more
`goats' illustrating the link between conjunction errors then goat.
paranormal belief and probability
judgement.…read more

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Magical thinking: This is an anomalistic belief that is
Correlation isn't a cause: The research evidence not back up by science. Homeopathy is a form of
largely suggests that there is a link between probability alternative medicine. It involves a treatment that is
misjudgement and paranormal beliefs but such a link not accepted by science there two laws to
doesn't mean we are justified in concluding that Homeopathy: 1.) like cures like something that
difficulties in making appropriate probability judgements cause a symptom, cures that symptom . E.g.. Arsenic
cause the paranormal beliefs. There may be an causes vomiting it will also cure vomiting (law of
intervening factor such as cognitive ability. similars') 2.) Diluting a cure makes it stronger:
Modern homeopathic cures are diluted until not even
Cognitive ability: Cognitive ability one molecule of the original cure is in the water, (law
may explains the link between the of infinitesimals)
link between probability ANOMOLISTIC
misjudgement and paranormal PSYCHOLOGY
beliefs. Musch and Ehrenburg Magical Thinking: a kind of
THEME B irrational thinking where a
(2002) controlled for differences in
general cognitive ability and found PROBABLITY causal relationship has been
this reduced performance JUDGEMENTS/MAGIC assumed between events
difference between believers and AL that are just correlated.
nonbelievers on probability THINKING Meanings are attached to
judgement tasks zero. So it could objects and they gain
be down to low cognitive ability Cargo Cults: in WW2 troops magical properties.
as oppose to paranormal beliefs. were stationed on islands. Examples: John Lennon
Not a judgement: This approach is Such as those of Melanesia many assumed he had left
offered by Kahneman and Tversky (72) which have never encountered his spirit behind in his piano,
they suggest that people use heuristics advanced culture and after the piano obtains magical
such as representativeness. For example witnessing this they began to properties because he
some people understand that the short create their own little cargos so played on the piano. World
run for tossing a coin is 50:50, others that the gods can send a cargo Cup Germany: Ecuador
however don't. They fall into the over. had a mystic to bless the
Gambler's fallacy for example you flip a football stadiums so that
coin a heads appears 4 times, thinking they can win chasing away
the same will happen again, no the any evil spirits.…read more

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Psychodynamic approach: Freud (1913) identified Irwin: partially replicated this finding by showing a
magical thinking as a from of child like thought where the correlation between having been looked after by an
children project their inner feelings onto the outer world, alcoholic parent (trauma) and MT, such as witchcraft,
for example if you think badly of a person it will cause superstitions and precognitions . Perkins and Allen
their death. When adults exhibit such behaviour this a (2006) found that students who suffered abuse as
form of defence mechanism, where they regress to a children were more likely to believe in paranormal
former childlike state to cope with anxiety. phenomena when there were elements of increased
personal control (e.g. ESP) but not phenomena that
Dual Processing theory: involves something more powerful than you (e.g.
Even those who don't agree UFOS)
with Feud's formulation
acknowledge childish thinking
as form of childish thoughts ANOMOLISTIC Laws of Contagion: This
which is more intuition and PSYCHOLOGY states that thinks have to be
lacks logic. Throughout life in contact to continue to act
THEME B on each other even after
there are two forms of
thinking that take place. MAGICAL THINKING physical contact ceases.
This is extended to magical
thinking such as believing
Animism: Piaget (54) also considered Nominal realism: A further that wearing something form
the nature of young children's thoughts. characteristic of pre- someone special has
In the Pre-operational stage one organisational thought, magical powers. Rozin and
characteristic mode of thinking is called according to Piaget is nominal Nemeroff (94) this relates to
animism, where children ascribe feelings thinking where children have evolved fear of germs and
to physical objects. Linderman and difficulties separating names contagion. It would be
Aarino (2007) relate magical thinking to from things themselves. This adaptive to avoid touching
animism for example feng shui assumes carries on in adult thinking, something that has been in
positive feelings comes from the Rozin et al pours sugar in 2 contact with a diseased
arrangements of furniture. containers then labels one as person, leads to an intuition
cyanide participants are still that psychological and
reluctant to drink from the glass physical properties can pass…read more

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Blackmore and Troscianko (85): carried out research Lack of Magical thinking: may also have a cost.
that used an experimental methodology. If MT is about People who are depressed generally show less
control, believer/sheep should feel that they have more magical thinking, called depression realism . This
control over random events.. Therefore they set up a suggests that a fully accurate assessment of one's
test where participants controlled a computer game own abilities may not be good for you (Hutson 2008)
about coin flipping by pushing a button. Believers/ sheep Mohr et al 2005 have linked this lack of magical
consistently said they had more control than thinking to low levels of dopamine a neurotransmitter
sceptics/goats. MT and the belief in the paranormal that is high in both schizophrenics and believers I the
causes function to give sheep a feeling of control over paranormal.
the world.
ANOMOLISTIC Costs of magical thinking:
PSYCHOLOGY At the extreme is the fact
THEME B that magical thinking is
MAGICAL THINKING associated with a number of
Magical thinking benefits you: as with EVALUATION mental disorders; too much
superstitions magical thinking may lead is not a good things. Magical
to people to deal more confidently with thinking is one of the
their environment because they expect characteristics for
good things to happen as a result of their schizotypal personal
beliefs and actions. Self efficacy is one disorder and also for
explanation another is the placebo schizophrenia found
effect. Magical thinking acts like a (Weinburger and Harrison
placebo ­ it creates a positive 2011) Yorulmaz et al
expectation and this alone counts for 2011that magical thinking
improvements. occurs in OCD. Those with
magical thinking had more
checking symptoms.…read more

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