- Are Women Prone To Paranormal Beliefs? Adnotated.

Saturday, 03 August, Year 11 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

A reader sends me this email:

Subject: Guilty as charged.

you have a better explanation?

you have a better explanation?

Inspired by your
Are Certain Behaviors-- And Jobs-- More Masculine? And Out Of Our Control?
article, I made up the following :

Associations of paranormal and superstitious beliefs with digit ratio (2D:4D) and absolute finger length (putatively indexing prenatal and pubertal-adolescent androgen levels, respectively), fluctuating asymmetry (FA; indexing developmental instability), and body measures at birth (indexing non-optimal fetal growth) were examined in a sample of 1118 adults. Higher (feminised) 2D:4D correlated with stronger beliefs in men, even when controlled for age, education, adult height and weight, and birth length and weight. Shorter (feminised) finger length correlated with more superstition among women, but not when controlled for the same covariates. Finger FA was unrelated to beliefs in both sexes. Shorter birth length (in men and women) and lighter adult weight (in women) were associated with stronger beliefs. Effects of 2D:4D on men’s beliefs were weak (1–3% attributable variance), but commensurable with those of known non-biological belief correlates (age: 1%; education: 2%). This evidence may be informative for narrowing down possible developmental pathways of paranormal and superstitious beliefs. Propensities contributing to sex and individual differences in these beliefs probably arise in utero, may partly be due to prenatal testosterone and other prenatal programming effects, but less likely due to pubertal-adolescent androgen action or developmental instability.

Source: "Who wants to believe? Associations between digit ratio (2D:4D) and paranormal and superstitious beliefs" from Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 47, Issue 2, July 2009, Pages 105-109

Does this mean I'm a bad person?
Eric Barkeri

No, it doesn't make you a bad person, but the author of the study is suspect.


The title of the article Barker had linked to contrast with mine is, Who wants to believe? Associations between digit ratio (2D:4D) and paranormal and superstitious beliefs.

Abstract: [...] This evidence may be informative for narrowing down possible developmental pathways of paranormal and superstitious beliefs. Propensities contributing to sex and individual differences in these beliefs probably arise in utero, may partly be due to prenatal testosterone and other prenatal programming effects, but less likely due to pubertal-adolescent androgen action or developmental instability.

Who wants to guess which way the association goes? Of course it does.


These articles rely on the fact that you're not going to read them. Only the titles. Since they are done by academics, they are appeals to authority. A leading title, a leading abstract -- let the public extrapolate from there.

And who can sit through these articles? They are intermittently seductive and impenetrable. Open with the sexual differences in schizophrenia, then the similarities between it and paranormal beliefsii, and close: "All of this points to a possible role of sex hormones for a suite of related or overlapping traits that include paranormal beliefs, schizotypy, and psychosis-proneness." Game on.iii

And if you do venture further into the paper, it's protected by landmines like this one:

Directional asymmetry in digit ratios was calculated as DR-L = R2D:4D-L2D:4D. Composite standardised fluctuating asymmetry (Møller & Swaddle, 1997) of 2D and 4D was calculated as FA = {Σd |Rd-Ld|/[(Rd + Ld)/2]}/2, whereby d = 2D and 4D, and expressed as a percentage of trait size (i.e., multiplied by 100).

That means there's science being done in there, got it? By experts, who can [distinguish]iv a nuclear reactor from an UPS truck. Stay the hell out, just read what you're told to read, i.e.:

In sum, the current data suggest biologically based, prenatally programmed influences on paranormal and superstitious beliefs. Or, paraphrasing the probably best known slogan from the defining X-Files television series: it may well be that some of the truth is in the womb rather than out there.

("Wait a second -- wasn't the X-Files audience mostly men?"v I said shut your hole.)

The article expects you do not bother to read this:

For women, corresponding relations were all not significant. Second, among women, finger length was significantly negatively associated with total and positive superstition scores (and marginally significantly associated with negative superstitions). And third, associations of paranormal or superstitious beliefs with DR--L or finger FA were directionally erratic and for both sexes throughout not significant.

Or this:

Corresponding associations among women were throughout not significant, and directional asymmetry in digit ratios (DR--L) was neither associated with paranormal nor superstitious beliefs in men or in women.... Paranormal and superstitious beliefs are female-typed traitsvi, so the current results are exactly the other way round. For now, it is difficult to put forward plausible explanations for this pattern.

Because those things say, "oops."


Where the study went wrong is that last sentence, "paranormal beliefs are female-typed traits." I'm not sure why that is stated as if it were obviousvii, but leave that aside: that was what they study set out to show, right? So you can't make that the basis for the interpretation of the results. "We wanted to determine whether this drug cures cancer. Since we already know that this drug cures cancer, the fact that it didn't cure cancer is difficult to explain using conventional paradigms. Further research is warranted."viii


The point of research isn't discovery, it's confirmation. And the purpose of research articles isn't to convey information, but plausible deniability, exactly like in the intelligence game.

Did the author lie? Nope. Is the article methodologically flawed? Nope. Everything in there is factually accurate. But.

The beauty of the paper is that at no point did he have to say, "chicks will believe anything." He got you to say it.ix

Did he say paranormal beliefs were feminine traits? "I didn't write that, you guys misinterpreted the study." But that was the purpose of writing it that way. If you didn't want it misunderstood you would have titled the paper, "My Baffling Discovery That Paranormal Beliefs Don't Follow The Sex-Specific Patterns I Wanted Them To, WTF, I'm Going On Break."

Nor do I suspect he's malicious. He truly believes they are feminine traits, and amazingly his own study is unlikely to have dissuaded him.x He knows he's right. The science is just padding. Even if all the studies turn out to be negative, he just needs to point at the stack: "look at all the research that has been done on the question of paranormal behavior and sex differences!" You look at the stack, five meters high, and think, "guess it makes sense. Chicks will believe anything."


Do you think I staged this? That it's a coincidence that guy sent me this articlexi, that happened to conform to what I'm saying? This is the norm, not the exception. There are no exceptions. All of this is about handing you all the tools you need to lie to yourself.xii

You make a false distinction between "politics" and "science," one based on argument and the other on "objectivity." They are of exactly the same form, conducted in exactly the same way, by exactly the same people.xiii

Both are done by humans, humans who want. Whatever truth is out there is barely detectable through the mist of envy and need and hope. They will make their words and their numbers say anything they need them to.

You want something uplifting, well, here you go: we have enough excellent raw data that we could make huge leaps in science without performing one further experiment.xiv We could take all the, say, antidepressant data, and run it through the Machines to determine that it cures the flu in whites born in Virgo but only left handed ones who eat lots of broccoli -- and we have no idea why -- as long as we were willing to put aside our attachments to words like "antidepressant" and "Virgo" and "flu."xv

But that would require us to ignore all the previous interpretations of these studies which form the basis for our current postulates. Can you unlearn what you think you know "feminine" means? Not without a biological EMP.xvi

I'm not making some philosophical/positivist case for the limits of human knowledge, I'm simply observing that when they want that brown square in the sat photo to be a nuclear reactor, then you'll want it to be a nuclear reactor, no matter how fast it's going.xvii

  1. Dude's evidently trying to self promote in the "socially acceptable" "soft" manner of pete dushenski, that monero dude et al. This 2000s-era "one cool trick" relies on the observation that the first generation of internet-powered "celebrities" are so fucking stupid, on one hand, and so incredibly self-absorbed, on the other, that merely first pass, easy-going, soft touch pretense at interaction will yield shave-able benefits.

    It's essentially the strategy of the mailman who only delivers mail to mobster households, because he expects this naive class of nouveau riche will shed so much [easy gained, and poorly understood] wealth for merely being touched as to make it worth his while. After all, 18k/year postman salary + 100 dollars for "Xmas tips" from 180 households beats the 25k/year the postmater general makes ; and all that's needed is to select the mobster mailroute. This sort of reasoning is why waitresses go to Vegas to waitress, and in general the whole profession of the casino cocksucker is predicated on the concept -- be nice to a guy the night he won big, it'll count as a whole year of loyal marriage ; and there's a guy winning big every night.

    I shed all his inept "linkbuilding" and preserved the substance. []

  2. It should be pointed out that the typically female delusion of "the state" is both a paranormal belief and systematized delusionary thinking of a definitely psychotic flavour. []
  3. Sex hormones sure as fuck drive development, that perennial "tide going out" to expose who had been swimming naked all along. I can't quite locate it now, but there's discussion somewhere on Trilema about this process, where kid who was good enough to be in your class in kindergarten turns out to not be good enough to be in your class in jr high. He wasn't good enough all along -- but the tide hadn't gone out to expose it, yet. []
  4. The original word was "tell". I complificated it. Now read it again in the original form and... "The more complex and flowery the language, the dumber the author was assumed to be". Amirite ?

    Yet the studies about this are absent, because they're just not being done, meaning that a "study-driven policy" approach will result in lopsided insanity. QED. []

  5. I thought it was mostly "careerwomen". []
  6. Because they have to be. []
  7. What does the author want to be "confusing" instead ? Because yes, "confusing" is a just a defense. []
  8. No ; rather :

    We want to see whether the tit size a girl ends up growing into is related to testosterone exposure in the womb. Since tits are female traits, it's unclear why testosterone exposure in the womb seems to correlate with juicy juggs later in life. Further research is very much desired (as the authors don't mind hanging out with women and measuring boobage), and perhaps even warranted.

    To restate the earlier note : why does Ballas want to pretend tits being a female trait is "confusing" ? []

  9. Last I saw a church, it was so fulla old women, it almost looked like the old woman tittybar. Speaking of which, are we gonna do something about all those topless jesuses anytime soon ? []
  10. The study isn't about whether they are fucking feminine traits, it's about whether womb testosterone makes females more manly / less fucked in the head. And no, I didn't say manly is the opposite of "fucked in the head", you guys misinterpreted my sentence. But in any case, if females weren't fucked in the head, we wouldn't have the problems we're having. We'd have instead a different set of problems entirely. []
  11. No, it's not a coincidence ; it's something else. Something that exists like toxoplasmosis : because idiots menalone will publish anything.

    Here's the ongoing "coincidence" as of today -- full five years after the idiot manalone went on his merry phf way :


    Do you think that is a coincidence ? Or does God "not play dice" ? []

  12. Right. []
  13. Supposedly this is then to seamlessly morph into

    And you also make a false distinction between "male" and "female". Yet they are of exactly the same form, and impersonated by the same people.

    and what the author would like to believe transparently stands as "replicants are humans", in the very specific sense that "gender-indistinct mosses, neither male nor female but momentarily impersonating a male or a female are still human".

    This is false, as it happens. If you think gender identification is a matter of impersonation, "presenting" X or Y and assorted tulpas, you're simply developmentally retarded, and therefore not quite human. Cuz that's what human means -- being able to keep up with actual humans in the development race. That's why frogs ain't humans, and why cars ain't humans, and why computers ain't humans, and so following : they can't keep up. Sexually indistinct mosses that failed to differentiate by gender may pass for pubescent humans, maybe, but can never actually count as the adult. []

  14. Absolutely not the case. There's piles of maculature clogging the empire, utter waste of time that have absolutely no utility. []
  15. This is historically one way to play go. Nevertheless, the game of go is not idempotent to reality. []
  16. Yes, obviously, in order for seuxally indistinct moss to pass for humans one has to "biologically EMP" humanity. I... don't think so. []
  17. Spurious association is, amusingly enough, a female trait. Because females are stuck with annoying brats, and well... "did you see how lightning hit that tree ? well, it was because the tree didn't eat its barksoup!" []
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  1. [...] Are Women Prone To Paranormal Beliefs? [...]

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  3. [...] incidentally ? Even though you know better, the sheer ennumeration of nonsense does exactly what he claims : He knows he's right. The science is just padding. Even if all the studies turn out to be [...]

  4. [...] how it all begun". It's not, I overgrow things, starting from childhood, as part and parcel of what their failure to keep up with me means. [↩]Which is to say this channel, that had once been the forum, meanwhile a ruined [...]

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