The Psychology of Paranormal Belief: A Researcher's Handbook

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Univ of Hertfordshire Press, 2009 - Body, Mind & Spirit - 213 pages
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With a thorough and systematic review of investigations into the bases of belief in paranormal phenomena, this discussion explores the four main theoretical approaches relating to the nature of such beliefs. Objective and well-researched, this account addresses different points of view on the topic--while some commentators depict paranormal believers as foolish, others propose that paranormal beliefs must be understood as necessities that serve certain psychodynamic needs. The foundations and shortcomings of each approach are also documented, and a new comprehensive theory attempts to explain the development of scientifically unsubstantiated beliefs.

 

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Contents

Foreword
iv
Acknowledgments
vi
Introduction
viii
Sociocultural influences on paranormal belief
12
The psychometrics of paranormal belief
25
The social marginality hypothesis
41
The worldview hypothesis
57
The cognitive deficits hypothesis
67
The psychodynamic functions hypothesis
81
Theoretical integration a causal model of belief in scientifically unaccepted phenomena
7
References
29
Some historical significant measures of paranormal belief
77
Author Index
101
Subject Index
109
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About the author (2009)

Harvey J. Irwin is an honorary research fellow in the school of psychology at the University of New England and the author of An Introduction to Parapsychology.

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