Effects of Social Influence and Persuasion on Paranormal Beliefs

Journal of Undergraduate Psychological Research
2008, Vol. 3

In the last decade scholars have unexpectedly found that beliefs in the paranormal were not significantly lower in college students vs. the general population. This research has produced a lot of controversy and concern regarding the student’s education level and reasoning skills. To investigate further, the current experiment analyzed the relationship between media and social influence and college students’ beliefs concerning the paranormal. In contrast to previous research, no differences in beliefs were supported as a function of media or social influence. Potential reasons for the lack of significant results are discussed and proposals for future studies are offered.

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My Epilogue to the World of Social Media

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A lot of people are curious about my decision to leave Facebook and social media. Well, the answer is fairly simple and I’m sure many people can relate. For over a decade I have been posting and replying to messages on Facebook. The main idea over all was to spread useful information and learn a bit myself.  Sadly, accomplishing this task is not as simple as it sounds.  Locating useful information on Facebook is like trolling through garbage barefoot to find a semi precious stone. Pages and pages of memes, heated opinions, useless narcissism, pointless statements and a boatload of redundancy abound.  Occasionally I would find some interesting things and I have certainly met some great people, but the benefits are not worth the maintenance.

I too would post articles and ideas on my wall hoping to evoke some good constructive conversation and that rarely worked as I had planned. It seems Facebook is the simulacra of a car in traffic and the users (myself included at times) freely manifest their “road rage” without limit. It’s plagued by ignorance, stubbornness, bigotry, hatred, and foolishness and all of those things detract me from my own research and my life.  I can’t help but be sucked in and spend an hour or more typing responses (sometimes heated) to things I originally had no intention to respond to.

It seemed on a daily basis I was viewing videos and photos of murdered children, mutilated animals, terrorists destroying precious art or committing crimes, conspiracy theories, riots and dozens of other things that I just don’t need with any degree of regularity.  I know they all exist, but to see them not only in the original posting, but the 100 shared posts is just too much for me.  They end up destroying my mood, and ultimately wasting my time.

So it is in the best of spirits I leave the world of “anti-social” media and replace it with more personal communications among my friends and colleagues. Once again I can enjoy catching up with someone, and interacting one on one instead of one to five thousand.  My new found time will be spent with my family and friends or playing my guitar or piano. I plan to restore my self to a point that was pre-Facebook and pre-social media. It’s looking good.

#I’m free.