The French and Parascience : Twenty years of Surveys
In the last twenty years, the question has been raised of what audience there is for parascience in our societies : in what measure does the public say it believes in the reality of a number of phenomena such as explanation of personality by astrological signs, thought transference and bewitchment ? This article is based on comparative analysis of the results of five opinion surveys conducted between 1982 and 2000 on belief in 11 parascientific phenomena. The data indicate that, contrary to a commonly held view, such belief does not seem to have grown perceptibly over the period. With regard to socio-demographic and ideological determinants, there are certain regularities : woman, young people, and people who believe in an afterlife are more inclined to say they believe in parascience.