Psychology in outerspace: personality, individual difference, and demographic predictors of beliefs about extraterrestrial life

Swami, Viren and Chamorro-Premuzic, Tomas and Shafi, Manal (2010) Psychology in outerspace: personality, individual difference, and demographic predictors of beliefs about extraterrestrial life. European Psychologist, 15 (3). pp. 220-228. ISSN 1016-9040

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1027/1016-9040/a000023

Abstract

Previous work has shown that is important to consider the disjunction between paranormal and nonparanormal beliefs about extraterrestrial life. The current study examined the association between both such beliefs and individual difference and demographic variables. A total of 555 British participants completed the Extraterrestrial Beliefs Scale, as well as measures of their Big Five personality scores, social conformity, sensation seeking, and demographics. Results showed no sex differences in ratings of paranormal and nonparanormal extraterrestrial beliefs, but participants rated nonparanormal beliefs more positively than paranormal beliefs. Results of structural equation modeling showed that individual difference factors (specifically, Openness, Conscientiousness, and social conformity) explained 21% of the variance in extraterrestrial beliefs, whereas demographic factors (specifically, education level, political orientation, and religiosity) explained 16% of the variance. Limitations and directions for future work are considered.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: University of Westminster > Social Sciences and Humanities
Depositing User: Miss Nina Watts
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2011 12:06
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2011 12:06
URI: http://westminsterresearch.wmin.ac.uk/id/eprint/9698

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