Superstition and Other Silliness: June 2005 Archives

June 16, 2005

Superstition in America

United States: Stories like the one below are somewhat less surprising when you learn that three quarters of people in the US hold at least one paranormal belief (excluding God, in which case it would go up to almost 100%!). A Gallup survey found that the most common beliefs were in ESP (41%) and haunted houses (37%). The results are consistent with a similar survey conducted in 2001.

The survey also asked about belief in things which are not necessarily paranormal, including satanic possession (42%), spiritual healing (55%) and that the earth had been visited by aliens in the past (24%). Very little difference was found between vartious demographic groups, though Christians were slighly more likely to be superstitious.

The poll shows no statistically significant differences among people by age, gender, education, race, and region of the country. Christians are a little more likely to hold some paranormal beliefs than non-Christians (75% vs. 66%, respectively), but both groups show a sizeable majority with such beliefs.

Possession by the devil was left out of the final results because it is unclear how many people treat that statement literally, and how many interpret it in metaphorical terms, but 'witches' was left in, even though that single word does not differentiate between belief in the existence people who practice malevolent magic, or belief in the existence of a group of people who consider themselves to be witches.

Three in Four Americans Believe in Paranormal - Gallup, 16th June 2005.

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Superstition and Other Silliness category from June 2005.

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