Why Do We Use Traditional, Complementary, and Alternative Medicine Practices? The Role of Personality Traits and Thinking Dispositions

Abstract

The use of traditional, complementary, and alternative medicine (TCAM) practices is growing worldwide. To understand the reasons behind this trend, we explored basic psychological variables such as personality traits and thinking dispositions as predictors of TCAM use. A sample representative of the Serbian adult population (N = 1003; 57.6% female; age range: 18-75) completed: 1) TCAM-22, a comprehensive checklist for indicating lifelong use of 22 TCAM practices such as acupuncture, use of herbal products, meditation/mindfulness, and prayer for own health, 2) HEXACO personality inventory, 3) DELTA inventory assessing the additional personality trait of Disintegration - a tendency towards psychotic-like experiences, 4) REI-8 assessing rational and experiential thinking styles, and 5) the Cognitive Reflection Test. An average participant used eight TCAM practices during their lifetime (M = 7.92), but there was also a considerable level of variability in TCAM use (SD = 3.30). Personality traits and thinking dispositions were significant predictors of TCAM use, F(10, 992) = 10.70, p < .001, explaining 9.7% of its variance. More use of TCAM was best predicted by high experientiality (β = .16) and high Openness (β = .14), followed by high Emotionality (β = .12) and Disintegration (β = .11), with low Honesty-Humility (β = -.09) and low cognitive reflection (β = -.06) also contributing to the prediction. Our results suggest that thinking styles and personality traits may play a significant role in the choice of medical treatment and should thus be taken into consideration when planning healthcare strategies.



Author Information
Predrag Teovanović, University of Belgrade, Republic of Serbia
Danka Purić, University of Belgrade, Republic of Serbia

Paper Information
Conference: ACP2024
Stream: Qualitative/Quantitative Research in any other area of Psychology

This paper is part of the ACP2024 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Teovanović P., & Purić D. (2024) Why Do We Use Traditional, Complementary, and Alternative Medicine Practices? The Role of Personality Traits and Thinking Dispositions ISSN: 2187-4743 – The Asian Conference on Psychology & the Behavioral Sciences 2024 Official Conference Proceedings https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2187-4743.2024.7
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2187-4743.2024.7


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Posted by James Alexander Gordon