New study reveals paranormal investigators winning at being “scientifical”

Study examines influence of media messages on perceptions of paranormal investigators’ credibility.

The omnipresence of paranormal entertainment piqued the interest of Paul Brewer, professor of communication at the University of Delaware, who wondered what makes viewers believe — or disbelieve — what they see on the screen.

His resulting study, recently published in the journal Science Communication, examines the influence of media messages about paranormal investigators on how people perceive the investigators’ credibility.

One version of the article described a paranormal investigator’s “scientific” approach to his work, including his use of various instruments, items Brewer describes as “trappings of science.”

One specifically mentioned in the article is an electromagnetic field (EMF) detector, used to locate sources of electricity. Members of the group who read this article were much more likely to call the investigators scientific and credible, as well as to believe in the paranormal. Brewer said the findings could trouble paranormal skeptics.

Interesting. I’m going to try to get a copy of this paper since it’s exactly the topic I researched as well.

I’m not surprised at the results, that people appeared to be “blinded with science”. They get their idea of what a scientist is supposed to look like by television. Hint – so do these non-scientist paranormal investigators. It’s not real science, it’s a sham, but apparently, it works.

Here is more on this topic.

Amateur Paranormal Research and Investigation Groups Doing ‘Sciencey’ Things

 “Scientific”: It’s just a catchphrase!

Tip: Molly Hodgdon

Gadgets are goofy, not scientific.

  5 comments for “New study reveals paranormal investigators winning at being “scientifical”

  1. One Eyed Jack
    October 26, 2012 at 9:52 AM

    This reminds me of the Monty Python sketch, The Machine that Goes Ping!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arCITMfxvEc

    I’m also reminded of the “white coat effect”: throw on a white lab coat and everything you say has more weight.

  2. Rand
    October 26, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    Props. Get devices with lots of BlinkenLights on them. Nothing says Scientifical and Techo like BlinkenLights.

  3. October 26, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    The video makes a good point. Just because you use a lot of gadgets most will assume you
    know what you’re doing or that these things are always accurate. However, without some of
    these tools we would be also missing out on a lot of info from the other side.

  4. Haldurson
    October 27, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    This goes along with what I’ve read, that we make decisions based on emotional response, and only later try to rationalize those decisions. It’s the same reason why it’s difficult to change someone’s emotion-based belief using rationality.

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