Wahbeh, H., Yount, G., Vieten, C., Radin, D., Delorme A. (2020). Measuring extraordinary experiences and beliefs: A validation and reliability study [version 3; peer review: 3 approved]. F1000Research, 8:1741. https://doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.20409.3
Background: Belief in the paranormal is widespread worldwide. Recent surveys suggest that subjective experiences of the paranormal are common. A concise instrument that adequately evaluates beliefs as distinct from experiences does not currently exist. To address this gap, we created the Noetic Experiences and Beliefs Scale (NEBS) which evaluates belief and experience as separate constructs.
Methods: The NEBS is a 20-item survey with 10 belief and 10 experience items rated on a visual analog scale from 0-100. In an observational study, the survey was administered to 361 general population adults in the United States and a subsample of 96 one month later. Validity, reliability and internal consistency were evaluated. A confirmatory factor analysis was conducted to confirm the latent variables of belief and experience. The survey was then administered to a sample of 646 IONS Discovery Lab participants to evaluate divergent validity and confirm belief and experience as latent variables of the model in a different population.
Results: The NEBS demonstrated convergent validity, reliability and internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha Belief 0.90; Experience 0.93) and test-retest reliability (Belief: r = 0.83; Experience: r = 0.77). A confirmatory factor analysis model with belief and experience as latent variables demonstrated a good fit. The factor model was confirmed as having a good fit and divergent validity was established in the sample of 646 IONS Discovery Lab participants.
Conclusions: The NEBS is a short, valid, and reliable instrument for evaluating paranormal belief and experience.
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