Why do some people believe in psychic phenomena while others are not psychic believers?
It may come down to a difference in analytical thinking abilities.
According to the cognitive differences hypothesis, psychic beliefs are partly formed by differences in the way people process information about the world, particularly, differences in memory accuracy and analytical thinking.
Researchers from the University of Chicago have undertaken the most comprehensive test of the cognitive differences hypothesis to date and found that, while there were no notable differences of memory distortion or memory capacity, when it came to tests of analytical thinking, (including evaluating arguments, a survey of belief in conspiracy theories, the remote associates test, and a test of logic), believers in psychic phenomena perform poorer than skeptics.
While the results don’t prove that poor analytical thinking skills cause people to become believers in psychic phenomena, they do seem to indicate that differences in analytical thinking and conceptual knowledge contribute to the development of psychic beliefs.
Other notable points about believers in psychic abilities raised in the study are that;
Belief in paranormal psychic phenomena is widespread, with over a third of the population of the United States believing in extrasensory perception (ESP).
70 per cent of psychic believers said their beliefs were in line with those held by their friends and family.
Psychic belief is associated with greater life satisfaction, demonstrating that there are benefits associated with having paranormal psychic beliefs.
Read the full study: Paranormal psychic believers and skeptics: a large-scale test of the cognitive differences hypothesis by Gray, J. and Gallo, D. in Memory & Cognition (2016) HERE