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According to the probability misjudgment account of paranormal belief (Blackmore & Troscianko, 1985), believers in the paranormal tend to wrongly attribute remarkable coincidences to paranormal causes rather than chance. Previous studies have shown that belief in the paranormal is indeed positively related to error rates in probabilistic reasoning. General cognitive ability could account for a relationship between these two variables without assuming a causal role of probabilistic reasoning in the forming of paranormal beliefs, however. To test this alternative explanation, a belief in the paranormal scale (BPS) and a battery of probabilistic reasoning tasks were administered to 123 university students. Confirming previous findings, a significant correlation between BPS scores and error rates in probabilistic reasoning was observed. This relationship disappeared, however, when cognitive ability as measured by final examination grades was controlled for. Lower cognitive ability correlated substantially with belief in the paranormal. This finding suggests that differences in general cognitive performance rather than specific probabilistic reasoning skills provide the basis for paranormal beliefs.