Many studies have explored the relationship between paranormal belief and religiosity. Some studies have shown that paranormal belief correlates with religiosity, yet many studies have not supported this association. The first goal of the present investigation therefore was to replicate previous findings. It is also of interest to explore the relationship between paranormal belief and religiosity in Chinese society, since it has not been studied so far. Another interesting correlate with paranormal belief is general cognitive ability. General cognitive ability was found negatively correlated with belief in the paranormal. However, general cognitive ability correlates with education, which might appear to be related to cognitive complexity.
The relationship between paranormal belief, religiosity and cognitive complexity was explored in this study. Therefore, this study has two purposes. First, the Chinese version of the Revised Paranormal Belief Scale (RPBS) was constructed. Second, the relationship among paranormal belief, religiosity and cognitive complexity was examined. Cognitive complexity was measured by the repertory grid including an 8X8 grid. Eight personal roles, such as self, grandparent, father, mother, sibling, classmate, friend, and boyfriend or girlfriend, and four constructs, including religious belief, religious activities, virtue vs. evil, and afterlife were preset. Each participant provided the other four constructs during the test. The task was to decide the importance of each construct with regard to the relationship between the individual and each personal role by using a 9-point Likert scale.
The task sequence was generated randomly according to the computer program. The score generated by the OMNIGRID called the variability of intensity was a measurement of cognitive complexity of the participant. It was obtained as follows: (a) for each pair of constructs, the correlation (COR) and its variance (VAR = COR2 X 100%) were calculated, and (b) the variability of intensity was the standard deviation of all the VAR values obtained from each pair of constructs. Forty university students in Taiwan completed the RPBS, the Personal Religiosity Scale and the repertory grid individually. Results indicated that the Chinese version of the RPBS had a satisfactory reliability (Cronbach alpha = .88). The construct validity was confirmed from the correlation matrix between the factors of the RPBS and PRS as well. Paranormal belief and religiosity were two different constructs despite some possible overlap, such as scales of traditional religious belief, spiritualism, believing that nature/environment can affect individuals.
Well-being and fortune, and afterlife (all these factors had five significant correlations with the other scale). There was a significant negative correlation between religious faithfulness and cognitive complexity. The limitations of this study include small sample size (N = 40) and lack of back-translation procedure of the Chinese version of the RPBS.