The phenomena and dynamism of magical thinking: Developing a magical thinking scale

Reiko Nakama*, Atsushi Oshio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The purpose of this study is to examine the concept of "magical thinking". "Magical Thinking Followers" are persons who believe in the effect of thinking. This research will contrast magical thinking to the ideas of positive psychology, construct the scale to measure it and investigate its benefits and pitfalls. With the aid of three surveys comprising data of 306 and 382 Japanese undergraduate students, a scale was developed. The scale was made of two factors: "a positive set of thinking and results," and "a negative set of thinking and results." Internal efforts of control to be positive were positively related to both of the two factors. Positive daily activities were positively related to a positive set. Dichotomous thinking was positively related to a negative set. Results implied that Magical Thinking Followers were more motivated to be positive persons partly depending on a naive dichotomous pattern of thinking mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-193
Number of pages15
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Dichotomous thinking
  • Efforts of being a positive person
  • Magical thinking
  • Magical thinking followers
  • Positive psychology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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