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Misperception of chance, conjunction, framing effects and belief in the paranormal: A further evaluation

Dagnall, NA and Drinkwater, K and Denovan, A and Parker, A and Rowley, K (2016) Misperception of chance, conjunction, framing effects and belief in the paranormal: A further evaluation. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 30 (3). pp. 409-419. ISSN 0888-4080

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Abstract

Studies exploring relationships between belief in the paranormal and vulnerability to cognitive bias suggest thatbelievers are liable to misperception of chance and conjunction fallacy. Research investigating misperception of chance has pro-duced consistent findings, whilst work on conjunction fallacy is less compelling. Evidence indicates also that framing biases withina paranormal context can increase believers’ susceptibility. The present study, using confirmatory factor analysis and structuralequation modelling, examined the contribution of each bias to belief in the paranormal and assessed the merits of previousresearch. Alongside, the Revised Paranormal Belief Scale, participants completed standard and paranormal framed perceptionof randomness and conjunction problems. Perception of randomness was more strongly associated with belief in the paranormalthan conjunction fallacy. Inherent methodological issues limited the usefulness of framing manipulations; presenting problemswithin a paranormal context weakened their predictive power. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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