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Schizotypal thinking among members of occult groups was investigated using the Rust Inventory of Schizotypal Cognitions (RISC). It was found that the members of almost all sects have atypical scores. However, a discriminant functions analysis of the RISC items among the sects indicated that there were two significant functions which differentiated sect members from normals and from each other. This suggested a classification of occult groups into two types with respect to cognitive style. Type I cults are characterized by devotion to a divine authority and obedience to its designs, as interpreted by the sect leader. Type II cults are characterized by a shared investigation of magical or paranormal phenomena, usually associated with an idiosyncratic or illogical spiritual philosophy.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1992-01-01

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