Day 222 — Book Resource Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition

When looking at the sources of superstitious behaviour and its results, one of the most useful reference books I’ve ever used is Stuart Vyse’s Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition. The processes that lead us towards beliefs and rituals can be both positive and negative, something that all skeptics should keep in mind when looking at why we believe in odd things.

While many superstitions and folklore have their basis in useful practices, such as not talking to strangers, or building team spirit, there’s a tremendous impact that they can have on cultures that can be studied - not only in sports but in the arts, in how we study, how we build community and isolate ourselves too.

It’s interesting to learn what personality aspects and factors can make anyone tend towards seeking means of control. The recommendations for science literacy, critical analysis and (most importantly) awareness of how we are all privy to such behaviours at some time or another, makes it this a detailed and relevant read for anyone interested in the subject.

Further Resources: