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Title: Individuals Who Believe in the Paranormal Expose Themselves to Biased Information and develop More Causal Illusions than Nonbelievers in the Laboratory
Author: Blanco, Fernando
Barberia, Itxaso
Matute Greño, Helena
Keywords: Parapsicologia
Al·lucinacions i il·lusions
Hallucinations and illusions
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Abstract: In the reasoning literature, paranormal beliefs have been proposed to be linked to two related phenomena: a biased perception of causality and a biased information-sampling strategy (believers tend to test fewer hypotheses and prefer confirmatory information). In parallel, recent contingency learning studies showed that, when two unrelated events coincide frequently, individuals interpret this ambiguous pattern as evidence of a causal relationship. Moreover, the latter studies indicate that sampling more cause-present cases than cause-absent cases strengthens the illusion. If paranormal believers actually exhibit a biased exposure to the available information, they should also show this bias in the contin- gency learning task: they would in fact expose themselves to more cause-present cases than cause-absent trials. Thus, by combining the two traditions, we predicted that believers in the paranormal would be more vulnerable to developing causal illusions in the laboratory than nonbelievers because there is a bias in the information they experience. In this study, we found that paranormal beliefs (measured using a questionnaire) correlated with causal illusions (assessed by using contingency judgments). As expected, this correlation was mediated entirely by the believers' tendency to expose themselves to more cause-present cases. The association between paranormal beliefs, biased exposure to information, and causal illusions was only observed for ambiguous materials (i.e., the noncontingent condition). In contrast, the participants' ability to detect causal relationships which did exist (i.e., the contingent condition) was unaffected by their susceptibility to believe in paranormal phenomena
Note: Reproducció del document publicat a:
It is part of: PLoS One, 2015, vol. 10, num. 7, p. e0131378
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ISSN: 1932-6203
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Cognició, Desenvolupament i Psicologia de l'Educació)

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