Who Believes in the Giant Skeleton Myth? An Examination of Individual Difference Correlates

Swami, Viren and Tran, Ulrich S. and Stieger, Stefan and Pietschnig, Jakob and Nader, Ingo W. and Voracek, Martin (2016) Who Believes in the Giant Skeleton Myth? An Examination of Individual Difference Correlates. SAGE Open, 6 (1). ISSN 2158-2440

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1177/2158244015623592

Abstract

This study examined individual difference correlates of belief in a narrative about the discovery of giant skeletal remains that contravenes mainstream scientific explanations. A total of 364 participants from Central Europe completed a survey that asked them to rate their agreement with a short excerpt describing the giant skeleton myth. Participants also completed measures of the Big Five personality factors, New Age orientation, anti-scientific attitudes, superstitious beliefs, and religiosity. Results showed that women, as compared with men, and respondents with lower educational qualifications were significantly more likely to believe in the giant skeleton myth, although effect sizes were small. Correlational analysis showed that stronger belief in the giant skeleton myth was significantly associated with greater anti-scientific attitudes, stronger New Age orientation, greater religiosity, stronger superstitious beliefs, lower Openness to Experience scores, and higher Neuroticism scores. However, a multiple regression showed that the only significant predictors of belief in myth were Openness, New Age orientation, and anti-scientific attitudes. These results are discussed in relation to the potential negative consequences of belief in myths.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: scientific myths, New Age orientation, Big Five, anti-scientific attitudes, giant skeleton
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Science & Technology (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Repository Admin
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2016 09:36
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2019 16:12
URI: http://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/595362

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