Editor’s note: In the fall 2021 graduation issue of Alestle, an article discussing a senior project on religion and the paranormal was published. Below is a follow-up article on the findings of the project. The third party member could not be reached.
A senior research project on a correlation between religion and the paranormal surprised members of the group, as the data shows that both of the group’s assumptions are wrong.
Noah Jones, who graduated in December, said he was quite surprised by the final data. The group’s original hypothesis was that religious people were less likely to watch ghost hunting shows, and those who identified as agnostic were more likely to watch ghost hunting shows.
“We were quite surprised. It was surprising to see that Christians actually looked a little more often than agnostics, but not enough for us to say conclusively that they looked more, but it was surprising to see that a little more they looked if well a lot or that refuted our hypothesis. We were wrong,” Jones said.
Jones said the project consisted of 100 anonymous surveys and six in-depth interviews. When the group was analyzing the data, it dropped some datasets because they had low numbers for certain religious groups, such as Judaism and Islam.
The research paper authored by the group states, “To understand whether specific religions had a bias to watch ghost shows more often, the average frequency of ghost hunting shows watched was calculated for each religious group. After removing groups that had very small datasets, “agnostic/atheist”, “Christianity” and “spirituality” were left. »
Anna Gentelin, a mass communications specialist from Alton, Illinois, said she conducted the vast majority of in-depth interviews and really enjoyed this aspect of the project.
“I did the majority of the interviews, which I thought was really fun to just be able to sit down and talk to people about religion, because that’s something that I guess people don’t really go into in depth about. typical conversations about religion,” says Gentelin.
The group’s conclusion as stated in their research paper, “A Correlation between Ghost Hunting Shows and Religion?” was “…religion and interest in ghost hunting shows are not correlated. An interesting finding was that spiritual people seemed much less interested in ghost hunting shows, but further research should be conducted to find out why this is the case.