Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Aaron Wichman (Director), Andrew Mienaltowski, Pitt Derryberry

Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


The current study examined the relationship between uncertainty and supernatural beliefs, as well as the link between individual personality traits and supernatural beliefs. Participants were placed in four different prime conditions: self uncertainty, other uncertainty, self affirmation, or other affirmation. The current study was created due to the widespread belief in supernatural phenomena in America and its effect on society. Results suggest that uncertainty increases religious beliefs but not paranormal beliefs when the self is threatened. Results also suggest that narcissism and neuroticism have a negative correlation with paranormal beliefs, inconsistent with previous research. The search for meaning in life has a positive correlation with paranormal beliefs, which is consistent with past research in relation to religiosity. Further research needs to be conducted in order to understand the relationship between religious and paranormal beliefs and the way uncertainty affects belief, as well as the individual differences that make someone more likely to believe in the supernatural.


Personality and Social Contexts | Psychology | Religion