Four out of ten Swedes believe people can possess paranormal abilities, according to research from the University of Gothenburg. They mainly believe in a sixth sense, that it is possible to talk to the dead or remember past lives.
Researchers at the SOM Institute at the University of Gothenburg have investigated Swedes’ propensity to believe in paranormal abilities. The questions were asked as part of the national SOM survey conducted in the fall and winter of 2022, where Swedes between the ages of 16 and 90 answered questions about various aspects of Swedish society. 3,750 people answered questions about paranormal abilities, of which about 49 percent responded to the questionnaire.
The questionnaire asked people whether they currently believe that there are people who can talk to the dead, predict the future with tarot cards or horoscopes, remember past lives, transfer energies to cure diseases or perceive things through a sixth sense.
According to a press release, 40 percent responded that they believe there are people today who possess at least one of these abilities. Almost one in three Swedes believe that there are people who can perceive things with a sixth sense and about one fifth believe that there are people who can talk to the dead. 20% believe that there are people who can remember past lives. At the same time, around 18% believe that the future can be predicted using tarot cards and 14% believe that horoscopes and healing can be used.
Women are the most likely to believe in supernatural abilities, with 44% saying they believe there are people who can use a sixth sense, while 30% believe some people can talk to the dead. Younger people are also more likely than older people to believe in the supernatural.
Although the researchers could not see specific correlations in, for example, educational level or income, Swedes who voted for Sweden Democrats and Liberals were more likely to believe in paranormal abilities. Rural residents and Christians were also more likely to believe in one of these abilities.