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Skeptical Saints and Critical Cognition: On the Relationship between Religion and Paranormal Beliefs

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The literature on the relationship between religion and belief in the paranormal is complex and sometimes seemingly contradictory. However, previous research suggests that this relationship depends on the religious characteristics of the sample and the measures of religion. Research also suggests that science knowledge is unrelated to paranormal beliefs, but critical thinking is at odds with paranormal beliefs. Psychology college students and conservative Christians answered questions about paranormal beliefs, religious beliefs, Bible knowledge, science knowledge, and evidence-based thinking. Conservative Christians displayed the lowest belief in the paranormal. Religious beliefs and paranormal beliefs were unrelated, but attendance at services was negatively related to paranormal beliefs. Evidence-based thinking was also negatively related to paranormal beliefs.


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