Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Paranormal

The Influence Of Media Messages On Perceptions Of Paranormal Credibility

The Influence Of Media Messages On Perceptions Of Paranormal Credibility 1

[ Watch the Video: Scientific Paranormal Investigators ]

April Flowers for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online

The paranormal is a popular and enduring theme in the media, stretching from Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula to the newest installment of Paranormal Activity, which opened last week. Television shows cover the spectrum from fiction, like the CW’s Beauty and the Beast, or CBS’s Ghost Whisperer; to quasi-factual shows like SyFy’s Ghost Hunters, which has spawned copycat shows on networks from Biography to Animal Planet.

Paul Brewer, professor of communication at the University of Delaware, was intrigued by the omnipresence of paranormal entertainment. Brewer wondered what makes viewers believe or not believe what they see on the screen.

Brewer studied the influence of media messages about paranormal investigators on how people perceive the credibility of the investigators.

Brewer asked participants in his experiment to read one of four versions of the same newspaper article. After reading it, the participants filled out a survey.

“It wasn’t just any story about paranormal investigators that made people believe in ghosts and haunted houses,” Brewer said, “it was a story about how they were scientific.”

In one version of the article, a paranormal investigator’s “scientific” approach to his work, including his instruments, were described. Brewer describes these instruments as “trappings of science.”

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

One instrument specifically mentioned is an electromagnetic field detector (EMF), used to locate sources of electricity. Participants who read this article were more likely to call the investigators scientific and credible. They also reported a belief in the paranormal. These findings could trouble paranormal skeptics, Brewer said.

“They might look at this and say, well, all it takes is to sprinkle some acronyms in there and wave around cool looking things that beep and suddenly people believe in ghosts and haunted houses.”

Another version of the article was identical in almost every way, until the end. An added paragraph quoted a professor debunking the investigators’ expertise. The group that read this article was swayed by the opposing viewpoint and rated the investigators’ credibility far below the “scientific” group.

“What the media can do, the media can take away,” Brewer said.

The findings of this study were published in Science Communication.

Comments

You May Also Like

Bizzare & Odd

A Tesla electric car with an activated autopilot function recorded an invisible person who allegedly moved around the cemetery. Social network users jokingly noted...

Paranormal

A ghost hunter explained how to summon ghosts and when is the best time to do it according to The Daily Star. Jade Capasso explores hotels,...

Paranormal

If you live in the United States and your getting into the Halloween mood early then check out A&E Channel on October 30th for...

Ghosts & Hauntings

Just a quick post today. If your looking for something paranormal to watch this coming Sunday evening or want to do a spot of...

Aliens & UFO's

AlienCon the world’s first convention dedicated to seeking the truth about extraterrestrial existence and solving the mysteries of the universe, has announced new program...

Ghosts & Hauntings

When videos of ghosts come out, often it is really tough to see what is going on in them. Sometimes the “ghost” could just be...

Paranormal

Don’t worry I haven’t had the idea of making the site into a spooky type of Porn Hub. A little while ago while looking...

Paranormal

On Wednesday August 21st both Ghost Hunters and Psychic Kids return to A&E channel for back to back debut episodes starting at 9PM ET/PT....

Advertisement