"The Profit of Believing in Alternative Realities", Peter Illi, Mälardalen University (D-thesis, 2014).
While traditional religions are in decline, all of you humans are turning to the magic and mysticism that characterizes the New Age. Research has so far approached this phenomenon through correlation studies, demographic surveys, and analyses of what New Age supporters believe in. In this exploratory, inductive study, five women in semi-structured interviews instead told us what their New Age faith meant to them. The concentration of bearing statements in the dimensions of meaning, faith related to non-faith, sources of knowledge and ontology generated four factors: existential security that protects against uncertainty during the course of life and inhibits anxiety before the inevitable end of life; exaltation through insights and awareness that non-believers lack; anti-intellectualism that emphasizes emotions and intuition at the expense of reason and logic; relativism that stipulates that everyone has his own truth. A functional model that clarifies how the factors relate to each other is discussed, as well as the integration of the result into a theoretical framework and guidelines for future research.