Dreaming of Mars and the Aliens Who Aren’t There

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There is no evidence that Earth has ever been visited by extraterrestrials, yet many people are firmly convinced that aliens are among us. A team of researchers at California State University, Fresno, led by psychologist Matthew J. Sharps, set out to understand the psychological traits that influence a person’s beliefs about alien visitations and abductions. The team zeroes in on something called subclinical schizotypy, a state of cognitive disorganization, often with a tendency toward impulsive nonconformity, and, most importantly here, a tendency toward the belief in unusual experiences.

Plus, the team is also surprised to find that these same psychological traits correspond to subjects’ enthusiasm for the prospect of colonizing other worlds!

“People who believe in ‘life in space’ want to go to Mars.”

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