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Examining the relationship between cognitive traits and epistemically unwarranted beliefs: belief in conspiracy theories, paranormal phenomena, and pseudoscience.
Högskolan i Halmstad, Akademin för hälsa och välfärd.
2023 (engelsk)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 poäng / 30 hpOppgave
Abstract [en]

Research suggests a significant negative relationship exists between analytical and critical thinking and epistemically unwarranted beliefs. The present study aimed to examine this relationship by measuring preference for and engagement in analytical and critical thinking, then comparing these variables with belief in conspiracy theories, pseudoscience, and paranormal phenomena.

The quantitative cross-sectional observational study was conducted without intervention, collecting multi-purpose data. Email invitations recruited participants (N=112) from small and large businesses, organisations, schools, independent churches, and interest groups in alternative medicine and pseudoscience. Participants were Swedish speaking and 18 years or older. Relationships between variables were tested with Pearson’s correlation coefficient.

The result showed significant negative correlations between beliefs in pseudoscience and the variables rationality, rational favorability, rational ability, and engagement. In addition, rational ability had a significant negative correlation with paranormal beliefs. The result did not show significant correlations between the measured cognitive variables and belief in conspiracy theories. The results suggest that individuals disengaged from, or lacking preference for, analytical and critical thinking processes are more likely to reject established science and instead endorse pseudoscience and paranormal beliefs.

The study contributes to a deeper understanding of how cognitive traits and skills are connected to epistemically unwarranted beliefs. Future research can further explore these cognitive traits and skills, because they are crucial in health promotion efforts to mitigate epistemically unwarranted beliefs. Facilitating enhanced learning environments, supporting health promotion initiatives, and enabling effective health communication will cultivate reflective, empowered, and ultimately healthier members of society.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
2023.
Emneord [en]
analytical thinking, conspiracy theories, critical thinking, paranormal phenomena, pseudoscience, rationality
HSV kategori
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-50771OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-50771DiVA, id: diva2:1768910
Fag / kurs
Health and lifestyle
Utdanningsprogram
Master's Programme in Health and Lifestyle, 120 credits
Tilgjengelig fra: 2023-06-26 Laget: 2023-06-16 Sist oppdatert: 2023-11-21bibliografisk kontrollert

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  • de-DE
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  • en-US
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