Narcissism and Paranormal Belief

Roe and Morgan (2002) wanted to study if there was a relationship between narcissism and the belief in the paranormal. Students from Northampton University were recruited to complete questionnaires such as the Australian Sheep-Goat Scale which is an 18-item scale that asks about belief in and experience of phenomena such as extrasensory perception and psychokinesis. The Tobacyk’s Paranormal Belief Scale which is a 26-item scale, that asks questions about a participant’s belief in the paranormal phenomena such as levitation, the survival of bodily death and the belief in witchcraft. And finally, The Narcissistic Personality Inventory scale which consists of 54-items that measure a participant’s level of narcissism.

Results showed that in regards to Tobacyk’s Paranormal Belief Scale and narcissism, there was no significant difference found. The Australian Sheep-Goat Scale did show a significant difference with those participants scoring higher on the narcissism measure meaning that those who scored higher showed a more belief in paranormal phenomena that those that scored lower on narcissism. Those that scored higher on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory may be more likely to express a belief in, or experience paranormal phenomena that would serve to raise their personal status rather than that of others around them.

In conclusion, the findings that narcissism maybe related to paranormal belief in a more narrow form gives some suggestion that paranormal beliefs in some participants, may be associated with a need for control.

Reference:

Roe, C. A., and Morgan, C. L. 2002. Narcissism and Belief in the Paranormal. Psychological  

Reports, 90,405-411.

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