Tom Rice conducted a study in 2003 to determine if there is a difference in who believes in the paranormal based on their age, gender, race, educational levels, religious beliefs, and income levels. Rice found that when it came to age, younger people tend to believe more than the older people in heaven and hell, ghosts, and are more likely to be superstitious. Older people seem to believe more in ESP, and prayer to heal an illness.
Women were more likely to believe in most classic supernatural phenomena. Race and income levels are largely unrelated to belief in the phenomena. Better-educated people are actually more likely to believe in most of the phenomena such as ESP, psychic healing and are more likely to say they can heal their bodies with their mind. Less educated are more likely to believe in traditional religious supernatural events. Whites are more likely to believe in psychic healing and UFOs, and other supernatural phenomena. Those with lower income levels tend to be more superstitious and believe in astrology.
In conclusion, everyone has their own belief systems, and although we can say that there seems to be a difference in age, gender, race, educational levels, religious beliefs, and income levels as far as believing in paranormal phenomena, it truly falls into a person’s own belief. There is no right or wrong, it’s just how a person feels inside themselves in whether they are believers or skeptics.
Submitted by: Bridget Cotton
Rice, T. W. (2003) Believe it or not: Religious and other paranormal beliefs in the United States. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 42, 95-106.