Suggestion, belief in the paranormal, proneness to reality testing deficits, and perception of an allegedly haunted building

Neil Dagnall, Kenneth Drinkwater, Andrew Denovan, Andrew Parker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The present study investigated whether suggestion, level of belief in the paranormal, and proneness to reality testing deficits influenced participants' expectation of haunt-related phenomena. Participants watched a short slideshow outlining the history of a fictitious, abandoned hospital. Suggestion occurred in the final sentence of the presentation narration and stated that the hospital administrative building had either a history of ghostly activity or structural problems. Following the slideshow, to ensure participants attended to the suggestion, they read a transcript of the presentation narration. The experimenter then informed participants that they would see the internal features of the administrative building via a soundless, black and white video tour. On conclusion of the filmed sequence, participants completed measures assessing environmental perceptions and phenomena, haunt-related opinions and feelings, belief in the paranormal (Revised Paranormal Belief Scale), and proneness to reality testing deficits (Inventory of Personality Organization). Within the experimental phase, only level of paranormal belief and proneness to reality testing deficits affected haunt-related ratings; suggestion had no effect. Second phase inquiry, using path analysis, revealed that haunting history (the extent to which participants believed the administrative building had a history of being haunted) mediated the relationship between paranormal belief and expectation of haunt-related phenomena.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-104
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Parapsychology
Volume79
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes

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