Inattentional blindness, absorption, working memory capacity, and paranormal belief

Richards, Anne; Hellgren, M G and French, Christopher C.. 2014. Inattentional blindness, absorption, working memory capacity, and paranormal belief. Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice, 1(1), pp. 60-69. ISSN 2326-5523 [Article]

[img] Text
RevisedPaper_2013-1003[2].docx - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (95kB)

Abstract or Description

Two studies investigated the relationship between inattentional blindness, paranormal belief/experience, absorption, and working memory capacity (WMC). ‘Inattentional blindness’ (IB) refers to the failure to consciously register an unexpected visual stimulus or event when attention is diverted to a different task. Absorption is a highly focused state where individuals are unaware of stimuli outside of attentional focus and is linked with paranormal belief. It was predicted that IB individuals would have higher absorption scores and be more likely to believe in the paranormal than non-inattentionally blind (NIBs) individuals. In both studies, IBs had higher absorption and paranormal belief scores than NIBs, as predicted. In addition, Study 2 measured WMC. Although absorption predicted IB, when WMC and paranormal belief were entered into the analysis, only WMC predicted IB with IBs having lower WMC than NIBs. These data offer support for a cognitive deficit account of paranormal belief.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


Inattentional Blindness, Absorption, Working Memory Capacity, Paranormal Belief

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Psychology > Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit (APRU)


March 2014Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

12 Apr 2016 13:45

Last Modified:

03 Aug 2017 10:30

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)