What Components of Personality Correlate to Belief in the Paranormal?


pexels-photo-38990There is much literature to support the statement that there are two tendencies, openness to experience and sensation seeking, that are predictors of belief in the paranormal. However,  the exact relationship between the three is unclear. The current aims to pinpoint how they relate. To accomplish that both openness to experience and sensation seeking are broken down into measurable subcategories. A measurement packet was crafted. The packet contained Zuckerman’s Sensation Seeking Scale, the Analogous Experience Inventory, a socio-demographic sheet, and the NEO-PI-R which not only measures the five major personality domains but also looks at six facets of each domain. 



spookyroomThe results supported that both openness to experience and sensation seeking related with the belief in Paranormal Phenomena. The results also confirmed that openness to experience relates more strongly to the belief in Paranormal Phenomena than Sensation Seeking. All facets of openness to experience correlated but fantasy, actions, and values were the strongest predictors. Sensation Seeking was broken down into four categories; Thrill and Adventure Seeking, Experience Seeking, Disinhibition Seeking, and Boredom Susceptibility. The only Sensation seeking subscale that did not positively correlate with paranormal belief was Thrill and Adventure Seeking.



Submitted by: Autumn Hockenbury


Johnson, J. L., Hathaway, W., Smith, C. L. (2009) Personality contributions to belief in paranormal phenomena. Individual Differences Research,  7, 85-96.

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