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  • 8 years ago
Dr Paul Rogers: Paranormal Belief and the Misperception of Coincidental Events

Dr Paul Rogers: Paranormal Belief and the Misperception of Coincidental Events

Numerous studies have shown paranormal believers are prone to various cognitive deficits including a poorer understanding of probability, randomness and coincidence. The current talk discusses three recent studies which have explored paranormal believers’ tendency to misperceive coincidental events. Study 1 examines believer versus non-believer differences in the tendency to misperceive two co-occurring (‘conjunct’) events as being more likely than two singular (‘constituent’) events alone; the so-called ‘conjunction fallacy’. As expected, believers made more conjunction errors than non-believers for both paranormal and non-paranormal events. Study 2 extends this work by examining believer versus non-believer differences in conjunction biases given variation in the temporal relationship (co-occurring vs. disjointed) and level of surprise associated with the two constituent events. Surprisingly, believers’ tendency towards more conjunctive biases was unrelated to these factors. Finally,

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