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Personal Disord. 2014 Apr;5(2):212-9. doi: 10.1037/per0000040. Epub 2013 Dec 23.

Sex differences in magical ideation: a community-based twin study.

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Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Missouri.
Queensland Institute of Medical Research.


Two questions regarding sex differences in magical ideation were investigated in this study: (1) whether there are mean-level sex differences on the Magical Ideation Scale (MIS), and (2) whether there are quantitative and/or qualitative sex differences in the genetic contributions to variation on this scale. These questions were evaluated using data obtained from a large community sample of adult Australian twins (N = 4,355) that included opposite-sex pairs. Participants completed a modified 15-item version of the MIS within a larger assessment battery. Women reported both higher means and variability on the MIS than men; this was also observed within families (in opposite-sex twin pairs). Biometric modeling indicated that the proportion of variation in MIS scores due to genetic influences (indicating quantitative sex differences) and the specific latent genetic contributions to this variation (indicating qualitative sex differences) were the same in men and women. These findings clarify the nature of sex differences in magical ideation and point to avenues for future research.

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