Alien psychology: Associations between extraterrestrial beliefs and paranormal ideation, superstitious beliefs, schizotypy, and the Big Five personality factors



This study examined the associations between the belief that intelligent extraterrestrial life has visited Earth and that governmental agencies have knowledge of this fact and various individual psychological difference factors. A total of 433 participants completed measures of extraterrestrial beliefs, paranormal beliefs, superstitious ideation, schizotypy, the Big Five personality factors, and demographic variables. Results showed that extraterrestrial beliefs were significantly predicted by paranormal beliefs, the unusual experience factor of schizotypy, Openness to Experience, and education. These results are discussed in relation to work suggesting that an individual differences approach may be useful to clarifying the underlying processes that give rise to extraterrestrial beliefs. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.