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Using more than 10% of our brains: examining belief in science-related myths from an individual differences perspective

Swami, Viren and Stieger, Stefan and Pietschnig, Jakob and Nader, Ingo W. and Voracek, Martin (2012) Using more than 10% of our brains: examining belief in science-related myths from an individual differences perspective. Learning and Individual Differences, 22 (3). pp. 404-408. ISSN 1041-6080

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lindif.2011.12.005

Abstract

There currently exists a dearth of research on the transmission and assimilation of myths. To overcome this limitation, we developed a novel scale that measures belief in science-related myths. A total of 363 participants completed this new scale along with measures of personality (the Big Five factors), anti-scientific attitudes, and New Age orientation. Exploratory factor analysis showed that the items of the belief in myths scale could be reduced to two factors concerning human-related and non-human-related myths. Both factors were internally reliable, were moderately inter-correlated, and were not rated significantly differently by women and men (although human-related myths were rated as significantly more believable than non-human-related myths). Further analysis showed that only human myths were significantly predicted by anti-scientific attitudes and the Big Five factor of Extraversion. These results are discussed in relation to the promotion of scientific literacy.

Item Type:Article
Research Community:University of Westminster > Social Sciences, Humanities and Languages, School of
ID Code:11424
Deposited On:31 Oct 2012 09:32
Last Modified:31 Oct 2012 09:32

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