Causal Schemata and the Attribution of Supernatural Causality

Volume 11
Spring 1983
Causal Schemata and the Attribution of Supernatural Causality

The present study sought to explore the causal schemata operating in attributions to supernatural causes. The decision to attribute an event to supernatural as opposed to natural causes was expected to follow a multiple sufficient causes schema. In addition, some religious believers were expected to display partial schemata biased in favor of either natural or supernatural explanations. Students attending a church related college completed a questionnaire assessing their tendency to see God as a causal agent and rated supernatural causality for events in which presence or absence of natural and supernatural explanations as systematically varied. The results provide evidence for the present of the multiple sufficient causes schema in attributions to supernatural causes, but not for the presence of partial schemata.

Dr. R.J. Ritzema and C. Young
36 - 43
Add to Cart $5.00