Reducing Pseudoscientific and Paranormal Beliefs in University Students Through a Course in Science and Critical Thinking

Science & Education 27 (1-2):183-210 (2018)

Abstract
This study measured the relationship between student’s religion, gender, and propensity for fantasy thinking with the change in belief for paranormal and pseudoscientific subjects following a science and critical thinking course that directly confronted these subjects. Student pre-course endorsement of religious, paranormal, and pseudoscientific beliefs ranged from 21 to 53%, with religion having the highest endorsement rate. Pre-course belief in paranormal and pseudoscientific subjects was correlated with high scores in some fantasy thinking scales and showed a gender and a religion effect with females having an 11.1% higher belief across all paranormal and pseudoscience subcategories. Students’ religion, and frequency of religious service attendance, was also important with agnostic or atheist students having lower beliefs in paranormal and pseudoscience subjects compared to religious students. Students with either low religious service attendance or very high attendance had lower paranormal and pseudoscientific beliefs. Following the critical thinking course, overall beliefs in paranormal and pseudoscientific subcategories lowered 6.8–28.9%, except for superstition, which did not significantly change. Change in belief had both a gender and religion effect with greater reductions among religious students and females.
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DOI 10.1007/s11191-018-9956-0
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References found in this work BETA

Nonoverlapping Magisteria.Stephen Jay Gould - 1997 - Natural History 106 (2):16--22.
A Revised Paranormal Belief Scale.Jerome J. Tobacyk - 2004 - International Journal of Transpersonal Studies 23 (23):94-98.

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Citations of this work BETA

Science as a Vaccine.Angelo Fasce & Alfonso Picó - 2019 - Science & Education 28 (1-2):109-125.

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