The Superstitious Person: Personality, Intelligence, and Belief in the Paranormal

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract


Research exploring factors associated with paranormal or pseudoscientific belief has generally identified a few reliable, but weak relationships. However, relationships between such beliefs and comprehensive measures of personality and intelligence remain under-investigated. This paper reports a multivariate study of 488 U.S. Air Force recruits, designed to investigate the relationship between paranormal beliefs, intelligence and the Big Five personality factors. Intelligence was assessed using the Armed Serviced Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) and the Big Five personality factors were measured using the Trait-Self Description Inventory. An exploratory factor analysis of a 60-item paranormal belief questionnaire produced a six-factor solution. Overall, the results suggest paranormal belief is associated with greater openness to experience. Several paranormal belief factors also correlated significantly with sub-tests of the ASVAB. These findings indicate certain classes of paranormal belief are mediated by both openness and intelligence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-111
Number of pages1
JournalAustralian Journal of Psychology
Issue numberSupplement 1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2001
EventThe seventh annual meeting of the Society of Australasian Social Psychologists - Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 12 Jul 200115 Jul 2001


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