In 2011, Erlendur Haraldsson compared two broad surveys of psychic experiences between 1974 and 2006. Its results are somewhat striking. Despite the fact that much more of the population in Iceland had attained college degrees (6% in 1974, and 36% in 2006), more people appear to be reporting paranormal experiences.
Results in comparing these two surveys showed that men are reporting more psychic experiences than previous times (59% in 74 versus 70% in 06) and the same trend was found for women (71% in 74 versus 81% in 06). The author notes that this may be a “Harry Potter” effect, where more people interpret their experiences as psychic than they did before due to television and movies.
In a closing note of the study, women were reported to be more likely to have an apparition experience of a deceased person than men, although the difference was small. Approximately the same amount of people still believed in Elves, spell spots, and “followers”. Finally, Icelandic data roughly matched the findings of other countries, suggesting that belief in the paranormal has in no way decreased over time.
Submitted by: Brian Laythe
Reference: Haraldsson, E. (2011). Psychic experiences a third of a century apart: Two representative surveys in Iceland with an international comparison. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 75, 76-90.