The Weird Coincidence Survey

The Weird Coincidence Survey  (WCS) was created through several standard statistical procedures. It is currently the most reliable and valid measure of openness to meaningful coincidences.

A total sample of 681 people participated in its development.  The 42 questions of the first scale (WCS-1) were collected from books, articles, and personal experiences.

Several broad categories for these questions emerged from the statistical analysis including:

  • Change and direction:  How coincidences can help with decisions about education and work.
  • Love Connection: How coincidences demonstrate interpersonal connectedness
  • Think/emotion: How thoughts and feelings about other people are help fulfill emotional  needs and enhance relationships.
  • Think/idea: How thinking about ideas and information can be mirrored in our environment.
  • Dreams: How dreams can sometimes predict the future

To learn more about this phase of the research read the paper

Wonder1We then proceeded to refine this scale. First we did a factor analysis which defines clusters of items that hang together AND are statistically independent. These clusters are called factors. The factors measure specific aspects of a general idea. For example, for a scale measuring depression, a factor might measure hopelessness.

The factor analysis produced two categories: interpersonal and agentic. The interpersonal scale involves people (I think of calling someone, only to have that person unexpectedly call me). The agentic scale involves action (I need something, and the need is met without my having to do anything).

We then did a confirmatory factor analysis to test whether the WCS-2 was valid (measured what we said it measured—openness to coincidences) and reliable (that in different populations the results are similar). We also wanted to see if the two factors correlated with personality variables that we thought were associated with openness to coincidences.  These personality variables included intuition, being self-referential (thinking what is going on around you is all about you), seeking meaning in life, and high emotion (both negative and positive). These personality analyses confirmed the reliability of the WCS-2. We then named it the Weird Coincidence Survey.

If you have not done so already, please take the WCS and see how open you are to coincidences!

To learn more, read the complete paper.

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