A recent poll appears to indicate that this could be the case !!
Although it seems a little hard to grasp, according to a recent poll higher education has been linked to a greater tendency to believe in the paranormal. Strange as it may seem graduate and seniors were found to be more likely to believe than a freshman in haunted houses, psychics, telepathy and other paranormal aspects.
The poll of 439 college students in Oklahoma City and Central Oklahoma University’s by Brian Farha and Gary Steward Jr. respectively. The results of which have been detailed in the January – February issue of Skeptical Enquirer magazine.
It would seem that 23 percent of the college freshman’s expressed a belief in various paranormal fields, but 31 percent of seniors also expressed that belief and the figure jumped again to 34 percent for the graduate students.
This certainly shows that as the students attain higher standards of education the chances of them believing in the paranormal seems to increase. Oddly enough this study kind of discredits what I would have believed as being more apparent. I suppose it has always been a common misconception that those that are more highly educated would be less likely to believe in more off-beat subjects such as the paranormal. The reason being the simple lack of hard evidence to support the field or that it doesn’t fit into the usual scientific methodology.
However, the paranormal does require one of three approaches it seems, the sceptic, the believer and the one in the middle! Does this mean that those whom believe do so out of their own belief system, whether it be religious or simple upbringing and experience. Perhaps those that are sceptics are only that way because deep down they want to believe, but need some kind of sign! Those that sit on the fence like me I guess are neither believers but equally discounted as sceptics.
I have always found it interesting to try and understand why individuals make the decision to believe or even why they don’t. For me I have always understood that there are things which lacked explanation, things which just didn’t fit right. However, I was brought up to question everything, to make my own mind up about things and not to judge. I think for me it is this upbringing that has placed me in the middle. I firmly believe the paranormal world exists with both a level of science and spiritualism which can be investigated. They work together to prove and disprove one another, creating a continuously confusing world which keeps us interested, but equally frustrated!
So, what does it mean that the more educated these college students became the more they seemed to believe in the paranormal. To be honest I’m not sure! Possibly as they studied more it opened their minds to greater possibilities. Perhaps then they felt they could believe more or at least give it a chance before discounting it.
The paranormal field will always consist of people trying to prove and disprove the existence of ghosts, spirits and other things which lurk in the dark. However, this is the upside of the field, its that attempt to prove something or that unexplainable experience that fuels your desire to know more, experience more and learn more.
Perhaps this poll is an indication of things to come. The paranormal has already crept out of the shadows to become a mainstream subject field now. The advent of reality TV has spring boarded it into our living rooms and our lives. It would seem everyone has an opinion on it and I have yet to discover someone who doesn’t want to talk about it.
I don’t think this belief or understanding of the paranormal is restricted to higher education either, I think people the world over are beginning to voice their experiences and opinions on the subject. TV is making a great deal more time slots available for paranormal shows. There are many more investigation groups than ever before and even company’s that will do their best to help you experience the paranormal first hand. A haunted house is no longer a creepy building hidden away from the public, its a money spinner taking the cold hard cash of the paranormal investigators and enthusiasts alike.
Where’s this all going? I don’t really know other than the knowledge that the paranormal is pretty much mainstream now. Although, not through the efforts of investigators to have it recognised amongst the science geeks, but because it appears to make good reality TV. It doesn’t end there either. The media explosion allowing easy access to quality video cameras and equipment alike make it ever so simple to record investigations. These coupled with social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and YouTube mean the word or rather the video, EVP or picture can get out there pretty quick. These media social networks are allowing investigators to share their experiences and evidence quickly amongst the paranormal community.
Why do more people and more educated people tend to believe? Perhaps its simply because the possibility is being fuelled by an internet based media frenzy that is distributing paranormal videos worldwide.
What do you think?