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Believing In Magic: The Psychology of Superstition | Stuart Vyse

Believing In Magic: The Psychology of Superstition | Stuart Vyse

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While we live in a technologically and scientifically advanced age, superstition is as widespread as ever. Superstitious beliefs are common among people of all occupations, educational backgrounds, and income levels.

In this book, renowned superstition expert Stuart Vyse investigates our tendency towards these irrational beliefs. Superstitions, he writes, are the natural result of several psychological processes, including:

  • our human sensitivity to coincidence,
  • a penchant for developing rituals to fill time (to battle nerves, impatience, or both),
  • our efforts to cope with uncertainty,
  • the need for control,
  • and more.

Vyse distinguishes superstition from paranormal and religious beliefs and identifies the potential benefits of superstition for believers. He examines the research to demonstrate how we can better understand complex human behavior. Although superstition is a normal part of our culture, Vyse argues that we must provide alternative methods of coping with life's uncertainties.

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