Why mine, of course.
First thing Psychology Today says is necessary is the belief that paranormal activity or ghosts are actually in the realm of the possible. Well, they say ‘you have to believe in ghosts.’ I wouldn’t go that far. I would say you have to believe they are Possible. Maybe there is no evidence to prove there are and in any given situation you’re going to look for every other reason for a phenomenon to occur, but then you may consider the Possibility even if you feel it isn’t Probable.
When it is uncertain if a threat is present in our immediate environment, we tend to err on the side of caution and get “creeped out.” This response puts us on heightened alert, triggering the top-down processing that may reinforce our belief in the paranormal and cause us to see ghosts. A study published in 2013 confirms that experiences of supernatural phenomena are most likely to occur in threatening or ambiguous environments.Psychology Today
The article goes on to say there is a commonly used scale to measure beliefs called “Revised Paranormal Belief Scale” designed by Jerome Tobacyk
The paranormal categories include the following:
- Precognition (being able to foresee the future).
- Extraordinary Life Forms (believing in aliens, Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, etc.).
- Spiritualism (communication with the dead).
- Superstition (astrology, the number 13 is unlucky, etc.).
- Witchcraft (a belief in “black magic”).
- Psi (a belief in psychokinesis, mind reading, etc.).
I have pondered some of these things. Of course, I am a fantasy fiction writer… so I would. But I have pondered the existence or non-existence of some of these things. Mostly I can’t make up my mind, entirely. Because I sort of need more evidence than my own thought processes and speculations.
However, some things have some interesting research that I dig… not conclusive research by any means, but it intrigues me enough that I do contemplate the phenomena exists. Like micro-psychokinesis research which is a pretty interesting feild of research for many reasons actually. (Check out this article-MICRO-PSYCHOKINESIS– for some general ideas on that) I didn’t really dig out the interesting research but there is a lot of it and even some documentaries if you are interested.
Then of course with aliens there is the whole Aliens In the Universe vs. Have they Come Here question. Because I would think it highly probable there is other life in the universe and statistically likely some of that life is intelligent. Although there is the Fermi Paradox as in, if there are, where the hell are they? Anyway, there are potential answers to that. But as for if aliens have been here… that is really open to debate. We definitely know for a fact there have been Unidentified Flying Objects- as governments have even said that but that doesn’t mean for sure alien designed.
While other things, like EVP – electronic voice phenomena (voices from ghosts, one might think), except our brains like to fill in the gaps when it doesn’t have a lot of information in many ways. Like how we are designed to see faces, for example, so we see faces in objects and so forth. Well, you can play a bunch of random sounds and if I tell you it is something your brain will begin to hear it, then if I tell you it is something else, your brain will ear That. And so it is with some EVPs where if I say it something, you then hear that, when you heard nothing of the sort before… so sort of weak evidence there in my mind. Not saying it isn’t Possible just that I can’t verify that given how our brain perceives.
But ghosts overall are a real tricky one for me because I have had some serious ghost experiences. And I am a seriously skeptical person- as in I believe in the possibility but now without getting rid of all other possible causes and reasons and then having some sort of solid evidence. And if I am the only one to experience said ghost experience… sort of can’t do that. So many other things it could be. Sort of. I mean, one of them was pretty clear to me. And I couldn’t explain that one away with anything else. But that doesn’t mean there Wasn’t an explanation. I just couldn’t figure one out. So I don’t rule out that they exist, and speculate on What they may be and Why they might be… but I wish if they did exist there was a scientific way to prove it.
So obviously I do have beliefs just not really solid ones… more like unverified theories. I just don’t like not having proof and evidence to back them. So they are just… ponderings. That I waffle on a lot. And sort of just think about and speculate on but have no firm opinion yet.
And according to this article…
Apparently those of us on this scale are more likely to be woman. And I do happen to be one. Are more likely to believe in conspiracy theories. Naw. Definitely no real evidence there. And more likely to believe in pseudoscience. Not really. Otherwise I would be rubbing essential oils all over myself for my migraine disease. When you are chronically ill… so much crap out there, science is your friend. But there is good science. And poorly done science. And weak science- like 10 people study in Uganda not double-blinded and not peer reviewed…. not as solid as other studies. So you have to pay attention to a lot of that as well. And the whole replication problem too. So while a study may tickle my interest… it may be just intriguing to my brain, not really evidence the phenomenon is valid.
Your cogantive style
Apparently, more intuitive thinkers (on the Myers-Briggs Personality scale) are more likely to believe in the paranormal. Maybe because we are gut thinkers. Or maybe because we are so open to ‘what ifs’ and the theoretical. But WHAT IF… so maybe we just don’t want to Exclude possibilities, even if we don’t believe some are as probable, we do believe they have some possibility of existing. Whereas a more sensor style really needs the facts and evidence first, in reality, with the proof right there, to even think something exits. More intuitives like myself are all about the theories and possibilities and what-ifs… and that is all cool by me since I am a writer. I need those what-ifs.
And your personality has an influence on peranromal beliefs as well
Specifically, individuals who score high on openness to experience, extraversion, or sensation-seeking are more likely to endorse paranormal beliefs than people who score lower on these traits. People who do not describe themselves as “industrious” are also more likely to hold such beliefs.Psychology Today
On the Big Five I am extremely high on Openness anyway. That is my top one, actually. And maybe that is why I am open to the possibility of this sort of phenomena. My overall personality wants evidence and really wants to dig down to the truth of the matter and wrap a great theory around things. And I will continuously make and adapt theories based on what I read. I am entirely comfortable with never knowing for Sure. The quest itself is fascinating. But I am open to a lot of perspectives and ideas.
They also mentioned religion as a factor but that definitely doesn’t factor into it for me
All of the available evidence suggests that those who describe themselves as believers—but who don’t attend church regularly—are twice as likely to believe in ghosts than those at the two extremes of religious belief: nonbelievers and the deeply devout.Psychology Today
And we cannot exclude biology and hallucinations
There are a lot of conditions that cause hallucinations. More than many think of, actually. (Read: Oliver Sacks- Hallucinations). And this is why I waffle a lot on any paranormal experience I have given I have migraine with aura. Migraine auras come in so many forms and some of those are complex… like complex auditory hallucinations. Now I do not typically even have auditory ones aside from like ringing in my ears but I have heard a music box sound repeatedly for a month off and on and I would assume that was a migraine aura. We also get olfactory auras which I Do get fairly often and that is smelling thing that are not there. Some really horrible scents sometimes. Just rank. Or fire smoke. Or other weird things. But sometimes I have had like a scent that is in a bubble… so I am walking down the hallway and I smell someone cooking stir-fry and then I keep walking and its gone, go back and there it is… literally in that spot. So that is a little weird but whatever. And obviously we get visual auras and I discount a lot of visual things due to that because visual auras come in all shapes and sizes… and can be very spectacular.
But other ‘events’ I have not been able to write off as migraine auras… I am not sure what they were. Or any other explanation. I was wide awake. Alert. Non-medicated. Sober. So I have no clue. But I suppose there could be some explanation I wasn’t aware of. I suppose some things just can’t be explained… and that is where my brain goes ‘what if’?
I can definitely write off anything that occurred while falling asleep or while waking up… as that twilight sleep state also causes hallucinations. I actually am well aware of that though and get a lot of wonky things happen in that state as a regular insomniac. It is a strange sleep state.
About 50% of individuals with Parkinson’s disease report that hallucinations are one of the symptoms they experience, and these hallucinations sometimes appear in the form of ghosts or other supernatural beings. Exciting recent work from the lab of neuroscientist Olaf Blanke reveals that a disruption of communication between the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain may be responsible for the hallucinations of Parkinson’s patients, and Blanke and his colleagues have also discovered that they could induce an experience of a presence or apparition in many epileptic patients by stimulating the border area between the temporal and parietal lobes.Psychology Today
So, yeah, maybe my ‘cognitive style’ is to blame for my openness to the idea of paranormal phenomena. But I have to say there is a lot of strangeness to reality that we have yet to prove or understand so why would I exclude it entirely? Hell, just look at mind over body research and what meditation actually does to the body. Not too long ago people would have said that was totally Flaky and Bull-crap… but Now we have the Science behind it.
So its all bullshit until someone proves it actually isn’t. We don’t know what we don’t know. I can’t believe for sure anything really but I am definitely open to possibilities. More so when I have had experiences I just can discount. More than one experience. I don’t like that I can’t Explain them adequately because my brain likes Proof beyond a reasonable doubt but sometimes that simply doesn’t exist.
5 thoughts on “What cognitive style can believes in paranormal activity?”
I believe all people have Precognition. I dream things that will happen, I meet people in dreams before I meet them. I write story and poetry in my dreams. My best work comes to me in dreams. We use a small part of our brain. If we open our mind, can create or know madness. Hello dear Lily.
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I know what you mean about stories. All my best story ideas come to me in my dreams.
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I read non-stop. I believe keeps my mind working. My best ideals comes to me in my dreams. My book, “The Island” appeared. I do believe, we can forget things. But they are just hiding away in the corners of the mind.
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I could take you to some places that would leave you never skeptical again 100% guarantee.
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I can believe it. Even my own experience I can’t deny happened. It is just extremely hard at a certain point to deny them once they get more extreme. I have had a lot of these experiences over the course of my life and that is where I waffled a lot because I couldn’t beyond a shadow of a doubt rule out sleep phenomena or migraine hallucinations. But the persistent experiences sort of really hard to deny. Like when they progress or when there are absolutely no factors of being asleep/close to sleep (as in awake) and not having a migraine/or getting one… and then having a light switch turn on behind you, every night when you leave a room. Or lights flicker around you all the damn time. Or the constant bed shaking thing or being touched or the blanket being flicked off my feet (the blanket flicking is really annoying). Or sometimes catching voices on my recordings for art and always catching one orb zipping around the room or around the canvas or around me. This house is getting weird. Weirder than the other houses I lived in. And it definitely wasn’t when we moved it. Sometimes I think I collect this sort of thing and then bring home a bunch of this with me. Anyway, I don’t deny the existence of the paranormal. I just do not like that I do not have definitive Proof of it. It bothers me that I can’t point to something and say See? That is what is going down. So I mostly experience it in a sort of abstract way and try not to get overly excitable about it- because I think if I reacted to it would just go bonkers.
And maybe some personality types are more open to these experiences, and so we have them. And maybe some people are too closed off to them and so they… don’t.