An Assessment of the Dimensionality and Factorial Structure of the Revised Paranormal Belief Scale

Kenneth Drinkwater, Andrew Denovan, Neil Dagnall, Andrew Parker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Since its introduction, the Revised Paranormal Belief Scale (RPBS) has developed into a principal measure of belief in the paranormal. Accordingly, the RPBS regularly appears within parapsychological research. Despite common usage, academic debates continue to focus on the factorial structure of the RPBS and its psychometric integrity. Using an aggregated heterogeneous sample (N = 3,764), the present study tested the fit of 10 factorial models encompassing variants of the most commonly proposed solutions (seven, five, two, and one-factor) plus new bifactor alternatives. A comparison of competing models revealed a seven-factor bifactor solution possessed superior data-model fit (CFI = 0.945, TLI = 0.933, IFI = 0.945, SRMR = 0.046, RMSEA = 0.058), containing strong factor loadings for a general factor and weaker, albeit acceptable, factor loadings for seven subfactors. This indicated that belief in the paranormal, as measured by the RPBS, is best characterized as a single overarching construct, comprising several related, but conceptually independent subfactors. Furthermore, women reported significantly higher paranormal belief scores than men, and tests of invariance indicated that mean differences in gender are unlikely to reflect measurement bias. Results indicate that despite concerns about the content and psychometric integrity of the RPBS the measure functions well at both a global and seven-factor level. Indeed, the original seven-factors contaminate alternative solutions
Original languageEnglish
Article number1693
Number of pages12
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume8
Issue numberSep
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes

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