Hocus Pocus: using comics to promote skepticism about the paranormal

Richard Wiseman, Jordan Collver, Rik Worth, Caroline Watt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
14 Downloads (Pure)


This study investigated the potential for comics to promote skepticism about the paranormal. Participants rated their interest in comics, read a skeptical account of alleged paranormal phenomena in One of three mediums (text, comic, and comic containing an interactive magic trick), and then rated their engagement, skepticism and recall. The text was rated as more interesting and entertaining than the comics, and participants’ prior interest in comics positively correlated with engagement and shift in skepticism. This suggests that for certain cohorts, comics may be an effective way to promote engagement and attitude change. The implications for future work are considered.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Science Communication (JCOM)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2021


  • art and literature
  • Informal learning
  • Science and technology
  • Science education


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