Date of Award

Fall 2006

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

First Advisor

Victor A Benassi


The relationship between psychopathological symptoms and paranormal belief and abilities was explored in four studies. Study 1 investigated the relationship between depressive symptoms and paranormal belief. Study 2 shifted the investigation into the laboratory by testing participants' illusory judgments on a paranormal task and assessing the relationship between their judgments and depressive symptoms. Study 3 combined scale and lab tasks testing for additional psychopathological symptoms and illusory judgment on four paranormal tasks. Study 4 incorporated techniques to increase illusion of control induction and minimize context effects and fatigue. Psychosis proneness and mood symptoms were positively related to general paranormal belief consistently across three paranormal belief scales and illusory judgment on three paranormal tasks. The results are consistent with a body of literature that suggests atypical thinking as a commonality among people reporting psychopathology symptoms and paranormal and other types of magical thinking.