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Magic and memory: using conjuring to explore the effects of suggestion, social influence, and paranormal belief on eyewitness testimony for an ostensibly paranormal event

Wilson, Krissy and French, Christopher C.. 2014. Magic and memory: using conjuring to explore the effects of suggestion, social influence, and paranormal belief on eyewitness testimony for an ostensibly paranormal event. Frontiers in Psychology, 5(1289), pp. 1-9. ISSN 1664-1078 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This study uses conjuring to investigate the effects of suggestion, social influence, and paranormal belief upon the accuracy of eyewitness testimony for an ostensibly paranormal event. Participants watched a video of an alleged psychic seemingly bending a metal key by the power of psychokinesis. Half the participants heard the fake psychic suggest that the key continued to bend after it had been put down on a table and half did not. Additionally, participants were exposed to either a negative social influence (a stooge co-witness reporting that the key did not continue to bend), no social influence, or a positive social influence (a stooge co-witness reporting that the key did continue to bend). Participants who were exposed to the verbal suggestion were significantly more likely to report that the key continued to bend. Additionally, more participants reported that the key continued to bend in the positive social influence condition compared to the other two social influence conditions. Finally, believers in the paranormal were more likely to report that the key continued to bend than non-believers.

Item Type: Article

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01289

Keywords:

magic, memory, suggestion, social influence, paranormal belief

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Psychology

Dates:

DateEvent
13 November 2014Published

Item ID:

10934

Date Deposited:

25 Nov 2014 09:30

Last Modified:

09 Jul 2018 19:48

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI: http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/10934

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