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

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    1 Citation (Scopus)
    125 Downloads (Pure)


    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
    Pages (from-to)101-111
    Number of pages11
    JournalThe International Journal for the Psychology of Religion
    Issue number2
    Early online date25 Sept 2019
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2020

    Bibliographical note

    This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, on 25/09/2020, available online: 10.1080/10508619.2019.1661198

    Copyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.


    This research was supported by a grant from FAPESP–São Paulo Research Foundation (grant number 16/00368-6).

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Religious studies
    • Psychology(all)


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