Research: LINDEMAN,

Listed in Issue 213

Abstract

LINDEMAN, Department of Psychology, University of Helsinki, Helsinki 00014, Finland. marjaana.lindeman@helsinki.fi  studied whether CAM beliefs can be better explained with intuitive reasoning, paranormal beliefs and ontological confusions of physical, biological and mental phenomena than the current variables used.

Background

Very little is known about the reasoning underlying beliefs in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).

Methodology

This study examined whether CAM beliefs can be better explained with intuitive reasoning, paranormal beliefs and ontological confusions of physical, biological and mental phenomena than with 12 variables that have typically been used to explore the popularity of CAM, namely gender, education, income, age, health, desire to control treatment, satisfaction with conventional medicine and world view (unconventional, feministic, environmentalist, exotic and natural). A representative sample of Finnish people (N = 1092) participated in the study.

Results

The results showed that intuitive thinking, paranormal beliefs and ontological confusions predicted 34% of the variation in CAM beliefs, whereas the 12 other variables increased the prediction only by 4%.

Conclusion

The results help to explain individual, cultural and situational differences in the popularity of CAM and to differentiate between CAM statements that can be scientifically examined from those that cannot.

References

Lindeman M. Biases in intuitive reasoning and belief in complementary and alternative medicine. Psychology & Health. 26(3): 371-82. Mar 2011.

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