The Implicit Relationship Between Religious and Paranormal Constructs


Correspondence should be addressed to Matthew Weeks, Department of Psychology at Centenary College of Louisiana, LA 71134. E-mail:


Several decades worth of research have produced mixed results concerning the relationship between beliefs in religious and paranormal phenomena. While this previous work focused on the explicit measurement of these beliefs, these studies focused on a new level of analysis. Specifically, what is the implicit relationship between religious and paranormal constructs? In Study 1, participants completed a version of the Implicit Association Test (IAT) to assess the association between religious and paranormal stimuli, as well as completed measures of religiosity and paranormal belief. Results supported an association between these constructs that was moderated by intrinsic religiosity and faith in science. Study 2 again provided evidence for an association while addressing a methodological concern regarding the IAT. The results are discussed in their impact on the understanding of the cognitive representation of religious and paranormal constructs and the respective belief systems.