Assessing Implicit Spirituality in a non-WEIRD Population: Development and Validation of an Implicit Measure of New Age and Paranormal Beliefs

Everton Maraldi, Miguel Farias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


There is a growing interest in the study of the cognitive processes underpinning New Age and Paranormal beliefs (NAPBs). However, there is a scarcity of research on this topic using non-WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic) populations. The main purpose of this study was to develop an implicit association test (IAT) of NAPBs using a non-WEIRD sample (from a general Brazilian population). In addition, the study also explored if the association between implicit and explicit beliefs would be stronger than previously reported for studies conducted with WEIRD populations. The sample consisted of 615 respondents, 65.2% male, with a mean age of 36.5. As expected, the IAT correlated positively with a self-report scale of NAPBs and of spiritual practices, but it presented a higher correlation coefficient (r = .45, p < .001) than usually found with WEIRD populations. Additionally, the IAT was able to discriminate between believers and skeptics. The paper ends by addressing the cultural implications of the present findings.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalThe International Journal for the Psychology of Religion
Early online date25 Sep 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Sep 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies
  • Psychology(all)

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