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Health

New Agers are more delusional

Gene ExpressionBy Razib KhanOctober 20, 2009 12:56 AM

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Relative to atheists, and conventional religious people (though conventional religious people are more delusional than atheists). Tom Rees has more:

Overall, the New Agers were more delusional than the Religious. That was particularly true for belief in witchcraft and telepathy (not shown in the graph). But the New Agers were also more likely to think that people are not what they seem, that they are being persecuted, that electrical devices like computers can control their thoughts, and that their thoughts are 'echoed back'.

On a mass scale people with orthodox beliefs who are affiliated with institutional religions have more impact because they can organize. But, on a personal level New Agers are often harder to deal with because the weirdness of their beliefs is often hard to anticipate, and they can take a scattershot approach to irrationality, barraging you with a sequence of unrelated bizarre intuitions and claims (in contrast, orthodox religious people have a more stable script of talking points). The original paper is Is the New Age phenomenon connected to delusion-like experiences? Analysis of survey data from Australia.

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