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Magical and Illusory Thinking in Protestant College Students
The Research and Scholarship Symposium
  • Lynley G Turkelson, Cedarville University
  • Milton E. Becknell, Cedarville University
  • Chi-en Hwang, Cedarville University
Type of Submission
  • Scrupulosity,
  • OCD,
  • thought-action fusion,
  • magical ideation,
  • illusory thinking,
  • religion,
  • Christianity,
  • illusory beliefs inventory,
  • psychometric
Abstract Scrupulosity (SC) is a subtype of OCD that manifests in religious obsessions and compulsions. Scrupulosity is associated with poorer prognosis and higher levels of magical ideation (MI), defined as beliefs that go against culturally accepted laws of causality. A new measure called the Illusory Beliefs Inventory was created to measure MI in scrupulous populations. However, the items on the spirituality subscale may fail to discriminate between pathological thinking and normal religious beliefs. The current study contained two purposes. The first purpose was to examine the psychometric properties of the IBI. The second purpose of the study was to clarify the relationship between scrupulosity and magical ideation in Protestant Christians. Higher scores on MI measures may simply reflect normally elevated levels for religious individuals produced by the IBI’s misdiagnosis of normal spirituality as “magical thinking.” We hypothesized that magical ideation as measured by the IBI will be high in our Protestant sample when including factor 2 (spirituality), but scores that remain high with the removal of factor 2 will correlate with higher scores on measures of OCD and SC. The final sample size included 517 undergraduate students with a mean age of 20. Complete data analysis is in progress, but preliminary analysis reveals significant elevation of mean scores on the spirituality subscale as predicted. Final results will be presented.
Faculty Sponsor or Advisor’s Name
Dr. Milton Becknell
Campus Venue
Stevens Student Center
Cedarville, OH
Start Date
4-16-2014 11:00 AM
End Date
4-16-2014 2:00 PM
Creative Commons License
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0
Citation Information
Lynley G Turkelson, Milton E. Becknell and Chi-en Hwang. "Magical and Illusory Thinking in Protestant College Students" (2014)
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