Masters Thesis

The Construction and Validation of the Fullerton Ontological Confusion Scale.

The Fullerton Ontological Confusion (FOC) scale was constructed to address the issues of inconsistent theory and inadequate measurement regarding paranormal, superstitious, magical, and supernatural (PSMS) beliefs. For the FOC scale, PSMS beliefs were defined as confusions of ontology, or the misattribution of core knowledge belief categories. The FOC was empirically evaluated under an Item Response Theory framework using the nominal response model (NRM) to estimate item parameters and the Wald test to evaluate within-item category variation. Using the NRM and the Wald test, the FOC scale items were revised to yield a measure that was optimally formatted and informative. Correlational analysis was used to validate the FOC scale by testing the hypothesized relationships to theoretically related and unrelated constructs. The FOC scale was found to have a good degree of validity with most of the testable validation hypotheses being supported. Compared to the available existing measures, the FOC scale could be used as a more pure and informative measure for PSMS beliefs.

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