Abstract of the paper titled: "Magical Beliefs and Discriminating Science from Pseudoscience in Undergraduate Professional Students (Garretta, et al.)"
"Paranormal beliefs and magical thinking exist in the public, and amongst university students. Researchers have found that media can influence such beliefs. A 2012 study suggested pseudoscientific rationales can influence acceptance of reported paranormal phenomena. Using a paranormal belief survey and controlled experiment this work explores the paranormal beliefs and test the effects of three versions of a supernatural news story on undergraduate professional students. One version of the story presented a simple news article, another the same with a pseudoscientific rationale, and another gave a discrediting scientific critique. Results confirmed that many students do hold magical beliefs but discriminated between scientific and pseudoscientific narratives. However, pre-existing paranormal beliefs were associated with an increased likelihood of students finding paranormal reports scientific, believable and credible."