It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Oct. 30, 2009 -- The propensity to believe in paranormal phenomena and superstitions appears to arise in the womb, suggests new research.
The findings, published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, further indicate that a reduced ability for analytical thinking may correspond with increased intuitive thinking, which has been associated with a belief in extrasensory perception (ESP), ghosts, telepathy and other paranormal phenomena.
Author Martin Voracek claims his new study's determinations "suggest (there are) biologically based, prenatally programmed influences on paranormal and superstitious beliefs."
Prior research had determined that relative finger length, also known as digit ratio, can be a marker for individual differences affected by hormones.
Men tend to have ring fingers that are slightly longer than their index fingers. In women, these fingers are usually about the same length, or the index digit is slightly longer.
In some cases, however, women exhibit a digit ratio more associated with men, while men may exhibit the ratio associated more with women.
The ratio is "a putative marker of prenatal androgen exposure, with paranormal as well as negative and positive superstitious beliefs," Voracek explained, mentioning that exposure to testosterone and other male sex hormones in the womb are thought to underlie the observed differences.
Voracek found that "higher feminized" digit ratio in men correlated with stronger paranormal and superstitious beliefs, "even when controlled for age, education, adult height and weight, and birth length and weight."
"Shorter feminized" digit ratios in women also correlated with a greater likelihood of superstitious beliefs, as did a woman's lighter weight at birth. For both sexes, shorter body length at birth was associated with later beliefs in superstitions and the paranormal.
The findings help to support the conclusions of Kia Aarnio and Marjaana Lindeman, both University of Helsinki psychologists who have extensively studied the propensity for paranormal and superstitious beliefs.
They found that women are much more likely to have such beliefs, which the researchers attribute to "higher intuitiveness and lower analytical thinking."
Based on the recent study, it now appears that men born with at least one feminine-associated characteristic may have greater intuitiveness as well, possibly explaining why these men, like some women, are more inclined to hold paranormal and superstitious beliefs.
Originally posted by johnb
Make that 50% then as my 'ring' finger is also a good 1cm longer at least and I do believe in what many people believe to be supernatural - planes etc would have been supernatural as recently as 200 yrs ago and you would have put in an asylum for suggesting we could leave this planet altogether by jumping in a tube and setting off massive explosions beneath it. Or that we could talk to someone and see them in a box even though they were miles away/diff country etc.
Todays supernatural is tomorrows scientific advances.