Thursday, September 30, 2010

Spooky Dissertations Part 5: The Paranormal and Belief

This is the final installment of the Spooky Dissertations miniseries.

Part 1 introduces the series and covered cryptozoology
Part 2 explores the increasingly popular topic of UFO culture
Part 3 finishes off the UFO topic and included the larger context of Theosophy
Part 4 examines ghost culture and parapsychology
Part 5 covers paranormal culture

Finally in part 5, we conclude with a general overview and miscellaneous of paranormal culture, largely but not exclusively falling under the rubric of "the occult" (though as noted, I've been fairly limited in what goes here, so as not to replicate the vast literature on anthropology of magic and religion). We then have a number of belief-oriented more quantitative studies of belief in psychic powers, and general paranormal beliefs and thought processes.

I will add to this when any new dissertations and theses on any of these topics comes to my attention, and if you know of one, feel free to leave a comment.

Paranormal Culture

Libraries and the Occult – 2004 MA, Cecile Dubuis, University College London

Industrial light and magic: Popular science, technology, and the occult in the late Victorian period – 2003 PhD, Sylvia Amy Pamboukian, Indiana University

Spectral realities: Intersections of science and the occult in modern American literature – 2003 PhD, Stephanie Lee Hawkins, State University of New York at Buffalo

Faith by demonstration: The connection between the history of paranormal phenomena and a New Age spirituality – 2003 PhD, Sonja C. St. Amant, State University of New York at Albany

Rhetorics of darkness: Modern occultism and the popular imaginary - 2002 PhD, Joshua Gresham Gunn, University of Minnesota

Wonder shows: Science, religion, and magic on the American stage, 1845-2001 - 2002 PhD, Fred Robert Nadis, University of Texas – Austin

Multiple views of multiple realities: The rhetorical and social construction of the occult - 2000 PhD, John Dale Richards, Ohio University

H. Rider Haggard and the Victorian occult – 2000 PhD, Janet Elizabeth McIntire, Northeastern University

Avatars of the soul: Cultures of science, medicine, and the occult in modern Germany - 1999 PhD, Corinna Adele Treitel, Harvard University

The significance of the near-death experience in Western cultural traditions – 1999 MA, Alan J. Pew, California State University, Dominguez Hills (DASH)

Psychics, readers, visionaries and other paranormal personalities: A social movement analysis of “gifted” people in the metaphysical movement – 1999 PhD, Gary A. Steward, Jr., Oklahoma State University

Witchcraft and occult crime within a contemporary Canadian context – 1999 MA, Tracesandra Jade McDonald, University of Ottawa

The profession of brujeria on spiritual entrepreneurship in Puerto Rico – 1998 PhD, Raquel Romberg, University of Pennsylvania

Dark star rising: The emergence of modern occultism, 1800-1950 – 1997 PhD, Bradford J. M. Verter, Princeton University

Places of power: sacred sites, Gaia's pilgrims, and the politics of landscape. An interpretive study of the geographics of New Age and contemporary earth spirituality, with reference to Glastonbury, England, and Sedona, Arizona – 1997 PhD, Adrian Iwachiw, York University (Canada) (DASH)

Identifying the spiritual experience – 1996 PhD, Sara Horsfall, Texas A&M University

Belief, Explanation and Rhetoric in the Crop Circle Phenomenon of Southern England – 1991 MA, Bruce Lionel Mason, Memorial University of Newfoundland (PUFOI)

Mysticism: A comparative historical study – 1988 PhD, Jess Byron Hollenbeck, University of California, Los Angeles

Spiritism and science in Brazil: An anthropological interpretation of religion and ideology – 1987 PhD, David John Hess, Cornell University

Otherworld journeys: A comparative study of medieval Christian and contemporary accounts of near-death experience. (afterlife, visions, imagination) – 1984 PhD, Carol Goldsmith Zaleski, Harvard University

Irrationality in current American culture – 1983 PhD, Kathleen Ann Dempsey, Saint Louis University

The new transcendentalism in post-industrial society: life styles and the search for meaning in the New Age – 1980 PhD, Gloria Ann Young, The University of Texas at Austin

Belief and Psychology – General Paranormal

Development of an instrument to measure understanding of the nature of science as a process of inquiry in comparison to pseudoscience – 2008 MS, Brighton Oothoudt, California State University, Long Beach

From Bigfoot in the backyard to ghosts in the attic: Predictors of paranormal belief – 2010 MA, Jeff Tranguch, West Virginia University

Psychological processes in perceived paranormal phenomena- 2008 MA, Stephanie Ann Van Arsdall, California State University, Fresno (UFOs vs. Bigfoot)

Psychopathological symptoms and their relation to paranormal belief and illusory judgment – 2006 PhD, Michael P. Cofrin, University of New Hampshire

Attributional style and irrational beliefs as related to para-psychological belief – 2004 Psy.D, Jennifer I. Millman, Hofstra University

The relationship between paranormal beliefs and the personality trait Openness to Experience: A comparison of psychology majors with students in other disciplines- 2003 PhD, Eric Dogan Ozkan, Central Michigan University

Information seeking and interest in the paranormal: Towards a process model of information action – 2001 PhD, Jarkko Teuvo Johan Kari, Tampereen Teknillinen Korkeakoulu (Finland)

Paranormal beliefs: Developmental antecedents, perceived control, and defensive coping – 2001 PhD, Stefanie L. Perkins, Long Island University, the Brooklyn Center

Belief and reasoning: The effects of beliefs on syllogistic reasoning – 1999 PhD, Mary Merla-Ramos, Long Island University, The Brooklyn Center

The influence of religious affiliation and religious orientation on beliefs in science, religion and the paranormal – 1998 PhD, Brigham Young University

The relationship of ego identity status and ego development stage to a belief in paranormal phenomena in Puerto Rican females – 1993 PhD, Rosie Rodriguez, New York University

The structure and correlates of metaphysical beliefs among a sample of behaviorally committed participants – 1993 PhD, Richard Peter Kaczynski, Wayne State University

The pseudoscientific beliefs of high school students – 1992 Ed.D., Duane Starrett Nickell, Indiana University

A description of the paranormal beliefs of preservice teachers at Indiana University – 1991 PhD, Robert Martin Craig, Indiana University

The influence of undergraduate research methods and statistics courses on the transfer of reasoning skills to everyday events, and belief in the paranormal – 1990 MA, Davina Mill, Concordia University

The Relationships Among the Experience of the Dying, the Experience of Paranormal Events, and Creativity in Adults – 1987 PhD, Mary Dee McEvoy, New York University

An Investigation of the Empirical Relationships Among Beliefs in Science, Religion, and the Paranormal – 1985 PhD, Carl Ben Taylor, Brigham Young University

Beliefs in paranormal phenomena: Their relationship to involvement in esoteric practices and locus of control – 1979 PhD, James Joseph McGarry, Kent State University

Belief and Psychology – Psychic Powers

Paranormal belief, personality traits, and subjective well-being - 2010 PhD, Inga Simonian, Alliant International University

Illusory judgments under conditions of uncertainty: Reasoning errors related to paranormal and religious beliefs - 2008 PhD, Erin C. Goforth, University of New Hampshire

Critical Thinking Ability, Dogmatism, Ambiguity Tolerance and Belief in Paranormal – 1987 PhD, Michael James Nanko, United States International University

Childhood Development and Personality Functioning of the Psychic (Parapsychology, Hypnosis, Multiple) – 1985 PhD, Mark Howard Goldenthal, Georgia State University

Interrelationships among belief in psychic abilities, psychic experiences, and sensation-seeking – 1982 PhD, James Stephen Anthony, United States International University

Personality Variables Associated with Response in Dissonant Situations – 1981 PhD, Caren Rae Gertner, The University of Texas at Austin

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