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Paper   IPM / Cognitive Sciences / 17553
School of Cognitive Sciences
  Title:   The Role of Cognitive Control in Paranormal Beliefs: A Study Based on Performance in Go/No-go Task
1.  A. Narmashiri
2.  J. Hatami
3.  R. Khosrowabadi
4.  A. Sohrabi
  Status:   Published
  Journal: Basic and Clinical Neuroscience
  Vol.:  14
  Year:  2023
  Supported by:  IPM
Introduction: Cognitive control plays a role in human behavior and mental processes and affects paranormal beliefs. This study aims to investigate the role of cognitive control in paranormal beliefs using the go/no-go task. Methods: A total of 92 people were selected based on low, middle, and high scores in the revised paranormal belief scale (R-PBS) and assigned to 3 groups. The groups included 30 severe paranormal believers (13 females with a mean age of 25.3 years), 31 mild paranormal believers (14 females with a mean age of 26.4 years), and 31 skeptics (16 females with a mean age of 25.8 years). All participants were tested on the go/no-go task. A multivariate analysis of variance was conducted with the given groups (severe paranormal believers, mild paranormal believers, and skeptics) as the independent variable and the go/no-go subscales scores as dependent variables. Results: The findings showed a significant difference between the mean scores in errors of go (F(2, 89)=7.20, P=0.01), errors of no-go (F(2, 89)=11.81, P=0.01), and reaction time (F(2, 89)=21.46, P=0.01) between the groups. Conclusion: The severe and mild paranormal believers had lower accuracy and slower reaction times than the skeptics group. Therefore, severe paranormal believers and mild paranormal believers had a weakness in all go/no-go subscale scores. This finding suggests that paranormal beliefs may be related to poor cognitive control. Highlights: Believers show weak cognitive control.Skeptics perform better in accuracy and reaction time.Paranormal beliefs linked to poor cognitive control. Plain language summary: This study explores why some people strongly believe in paranormal phenomena while others don't. This study investigated the connection between cognitive control (our ability to manage thoughts and behavior) and paranormal beliefs. They found that individuals with stronger paranormal beliefs had poorer cognitive control, as they made more errors and had slower reaction times compared to skeptics. However, it's important to note that this study doesn't prove causation; it only highlights a potential link that needs more research. Understanding this connection is important because it helps us grasp why some people are more prone to believing in paranormal events. It also opens up avenues for studying how cognitive control affects human behavior and thinking. In conclusion, this study provides valuable insights into the relationship between cognitive control and paranormal beliefs, contributing to our understanding of human behavior and belief systems. More research can further deepen our knowledge of why people hold different beliefs and how cognitive processes influence those beliefs.

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