Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Opportunity to Participate in a Survey

Jeffrey Rudski, Professor of Psychology at Muhlenberg College in
Allentown PA is seeking participants over the age of 18 to participate
in a survey examining how people define the interplay/boundaries of
faith and superstition.

The purpose of this study is to try to understand which kinds of
religious beliefs, if any, are considered `superstitious'. Moreover,
we wish to examine the relationship between religiously-linked beliefs
and commonly accepted unsubstantiated beliefs (e.g., ESP, ghosts).
Past research has found conflicting results. Some studies have found
no relationship between the two, with the interpretation being that
religions often discourage paranormal belief systems as being
associated with the occult. Other studies have found a positive
relationship between the two, with the interpretation being that both
religious and paranormal beliefs encourage "believing without
requiring hard scientific evidence. This study is designed to see if
either (or both!) may be true by focusing on different types of
religious and paranormal beliefs. The ultimate goal of this project is
not to evaluate the veracity of any belief or practice, but to look at
how beliefs are defined and interact.

In this study, you will be asked to fill out a 43-item survey
assessing various beliefs, a 14-item religious orientation scale, and
some basic demographic information. In pilot studies it took 18-23
minutes to complete. If you wish, we will be able to give you a
summary of what we have found by early May (see instructions at the
end of the survey on how to get on the e-mailing list).

As a final note, I'd like to request that you forward this e-mail or
your own description of this link to whomever you think would be
willing to fill this out (although all participants must be at least
18 years old). If you have any questions or concerns, please contact
Jeffrey Rudski at .

To participate in this online survey, please go to

The project has been approved by Muhlenberg College's Institutional
Review Board and meets the ethical guidelines set out by the American
Psychological Association.

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