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2017 Vol. 81(2) 177-195

Etzel Cardeña
Parapsychology Press


Irwin, H. J. (2017). The Minimal Self and Belief in Paranormal Phenomena. Journal of Parapsychology, 81(2), 177-195


The Minimal Self and Belief in Paranormal Phenomena

Harvey J. Irwin

A growing body of evidence suggests that in the general population the development of beliefs in paranormal phenomena relies in part on the cognitive processes involved also in the formation of delusions. One early sign of the development of delusions is a disorder of or vulnerability in the minimal self, an awareness that one’s thoughts, perceptions and feelings are experienced by the self. This study sought to investigate the hypothesis that belief in paranormal phenomena may be associated with minimal-self dysfunction. The hypothesis was investigated with an online questionnaire survey of 141 Australian adults. Findings support the hypothesis and indicate also that the relation between minimal-self dysfunction and paranormal belief is partially mediated by schizotypal tendencies. These relations nevertheless are not strong.


paranormal belief, minimal-self dysfunction, schizotypy, anomalous experiences

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