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Keywords:

  • attitude;
  • religion;
  • paranormal beliefs

Abstract

Lack of conceptual clarity and multivariate empirical studies has troubled research on superstitious, magical and paranormal beliefs. We defined paranormal beliefs as beliefs in physical, biological or psychological phenomena that feature core ontological properties of another ontological category. The aim was to bring together a range of beliefs and their potential correlates, to analyse whether the beliefs form independent subsets, and to test a structural model of the beliefs and their potential correlates. The results (N = 3261) showed that the beliefs could be best described by one higher-order factor. There were also four lower-order factors of paranormal beliefs but their explanatory power was low. Magico-religious beliefs were best explained by high intuitive thinking, a humanistic world view and low analytical thinking. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.