A sociologist speaking at Utah State University's Fife Conference said the group reporting the fewest responses to the supernatural were "elite American scientists."
James McClenon, of the department of social sciences at Elizabeth State University in North Carolina, related results of a survey he conducted regarding capacity for supernatural experience.Chinese students from three colleges, University of Maryland students, Elizabeth City University Afro-Americans, elite American scientists and students at Tsukuba University in Japan comprised the study group.
They were asked about deja vu or encountering a new situation which seemed totally familiar; night paralysis, extrasensory perception (ESP), contact with the dead, and out-of-body experiences.
McClenon said he also looked at nationalities reporting these experiences one or more times.
Eighty-nine percent of the Maryland students, 88 percent of the Tsukuba students, 80 percent of the Elizabeth State students, 64 percent of the Chinese students and 59 percent of the scientist had experienced deja vu.
The night paralysis phenomenon was experienced by the following percentages: of the Chinese students, 58; Tsukuba and Elizabeth State students, 50; and Maryland students, 37. The scientists were not asked about night paralysis.
Percentages of participants experiencing ESP were: Chinese students, 71; Maryland students, 44; Elizabeth State and Tsukuba students, 35; and scientists, 26.
Where the question of contact with the dead was asked, percentages were: Chinese students, 40; Maryland and Elizabeth State students, 25; and the Tsukuba students and the elite scientists, each 10.
Percentages acknowledging out-of-body experiences were: Chinese students, 35; Maryland students, 27; scientists, 20; Elizabeth State students, 18; and Tsukuba students, 13.
Belief in ESP was acknowledged by 76 percent of the Chinese students, 68 percent of Elizabeth State students, 66 percent of Maryland students, 61 percent of Tsukuba students and 20 percent of the elite scientists.
American sampling on supernatural experiences in 1984 showed deja vu and ESP had been experienced one or more times by two-thirds of those surveyed, and 42 percent reported contact with the dead.
About a third of those surveyed in Great Britain, West Germany, Italy, France, Finland and Iceland indicated ESP experiences and a quarter or more of those surveyed in Great Britain, Italy, France and Iceland reported contact with the dead, McClenon told the participants of the USU conference.