ARE THERE DIFFERENT COGNITIVE STRUCTURES BEHIND PARANORMAL BELIEFS?
A multi-level analysis (CHAID: Chisquare Automatic Interaction Detection) of the linguistic productions demonstrates whether and how the justifications for positive and negative convictions with regard to the selected paranormal phenomena show structural cognitive differences. CHAID is a multivariable procedure for the analysis of contrasting groups of nominal and ordinal data. This method of data analysis reveals differential dependencies between categories, if there are any, and makes it possible to determine the characteristic motive patterns for each of the 26 registered paranormal and other anomalous phenomena. Each phenomena requires a specially constructed justification and cannot be accounted for by one general model of justification. Phenomenon-specific patterns among the motive variables were also uncovered among positively-judged paranormal phenomena and also among negatively-judged phenomena. In order to improve comparability, the multiplicity of motive categories as predictors is reduced and sup erior categories, or "clusters," are formed by combining categories with cognate meaning. The bundling of categories serves to outline the structures much more clearly. The units under consideration (i.e., the motive categories) thus are reduced from 36 to 6. They are termed: Subjective Experiences, Inner States, Rational Motivation, External Stores, Social Aspects, and Others' Explanations.
The analyses also show that agreement and rejection of paranormal phenomena make use of the same cognitive structures, even though they do so in different ways with regard to the phenomena and to judgements on the phenomena. There are findings that support the hypothesis of cognitive differences underlying different paranormal convictions; for example, phenomenon-specific motive patterns were found. Thus, the hypothesis that assumes basic cognitive differences associated with different paranormal convictions has been confirmed.
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|Publication:||The Journal of Parapsychology|
|Date:||Sep 1, 1999|
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