Hughes, Behanna, & Signorella (2001). Perceived Accuracy of Fortune Telling and Belief in the Paranormal. Journal of Social Psychology, vol. 141. Public

In the U.S. and similar countries, beliefs in the supernatural have remained stable or increased over the past decades. Psychology students rated their beliefs in a variety of paranormal topics. Students were randomly assigned to receive either a true fortune (i.e., using "real" fortune tellers' procedures) or a false one (produced by interchanging the meanings traditionally associated with the suits). Belief in those items most similar to psychic reading—fortune telling, astrology, and clairvoyance—were significantly associated with higher perceived accuracy of the fortune. The present results suggest that predicting an individual's susceptibility to an ostensibly paranormal event would require knowledge of the person's specific beliefs about the event, rather than general paranormal beliefs.


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