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Conceptions about the mind-body problem and their relations to afterlife beliefs, paranormal beliefs, religiosity, and ontological confusions.

Research paper by Tapani T Riekki, Marjaana M Lindeman, Jari J Lipsanen

Indexed on: 01 Jan '13Published on: 01 Jan '13Published in: Advances in cognitive psychology / University of Finance and Management in Warsaw



Abstract

We examined lay people's conceptions about the relationship between mind and body and their correlates. In Study 1, a web survey (N = 850) of reflective dualistic, emergentistic, and monistic perceptions of the mind-body relationship, afterlife beliefs (i.e., common sense dualism), religiosity, paranormal beliefs, and ontological confusions about physical, biological, and psychological phenomena was conducted. In Study 2 (N = 73), we examined implicit ontological confusions and their relations to afterlife beliefs, paranormal beliefs, and religiosity. Correlation and regression analyses showed that reflective dualism, afterlife beliefs, paranormal beliefs, and religiosity were strongly and positively related and that reflective dualism and afterlife beliefs mediated the relationship between ontological confusions and religious and paranormal beliefs. The results elucidate the contention that dualism is a manifestation of universal cognitive processes related to intuitions about physical, biological, and psychological phenomena by showing that especially individuals who confuse the distinctive attributes of these phenomena tend to set the mind apart from the body.