In Defense of Superstition

The New York Times:

Superstition is typically a pejorative term. Belief in things like magic and miracles is thought to be irrational and scientifically retrograde. But as studies have repeatedly shown, some level of belief in the supernatural — often a subtle and unconscious belief — appears to be unavoidable, even among skeptics. One study found that a group of seemingly rational Princeton students nonetheless believed that they had influenced the Super Bowl just by watching it on TV. We are all mystics, to a degree.

The good news is that superstitious thought, or “magical thinking,” even as it misrepresents reality, has its advantages. It offers psychological benefits that logic and science can’t always provide: namely, a sense of control and a sense of meaning.

Read the whole story: The New York Times

See Laura Kray at the 24th APS Annual Convention.

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