New age main criticisms

4 – Practices associated with schizotypal personality traits

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From a secular perspective.

New Age practices and beliefs are associated with schizotypal personality traits and high level of individualism.

“Although numerous studies on New Age religiosity have been undertaken (for a summary see Heelas, 1996), these have focused on particular groups or techniques, mostly utilizing anthropological and sociological approaches. The few studies attempting to study the New Age in terms of differential psychology unanimously report that New Agers differ from traditional religious and non-religious people by their high level of individualism (Houtman & Mascini, 2002), their insecure parental attachment (Granqvist & Hagekull, 2001), and their frequent use of magical attributions in everyday events (Farias, 2004).

The array of magical and paranormal beliefs present in New Agers everyday explanations is illustrative of their concern with the existence of an intimate connectedness between all things (visible and invisible). Concepts like those of karma or synchronicity are employed as a common belief system, which allows the individual to establish a virtually unending network of connections. Thus, it is possible to explain practically any trivial event as if filled with rare significance.

Results indicate that there is a relationship between New Age practices and beliefs and schizotypal personality traits, characterized by magical ideation, a cognitive disposition towards looseness of associations, as well as emotional hypersensitivity.”

(Source: Miguel Farias, Gordon Claridge, Mansur Lalljee- Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford ‘New Age Paper’)