The Science of Superstition : How the Developing Brain Creates Supernatural Beliefs
"John McEnroe notoriously refused to step on the white lines of a tennis court between points. Wade Boggs insisted on eating a chicken dinner before every Boston Red Sox game. Presidential candidate Barak Obama played a game of basketball the morning of his victory in the Iowa primary, and continued the tradition the day of every following primary. Superstitious habits are common. Do you ever cross your fingers, knock on wood, avoid walking under ladders, or step around black cats? Sentimental value often supercedes material worth. If someone offered to replace your childhood teddy bear or wedding ring with a brand new, exact replica, would you do it? How about $20 for trying on a sweater owned by Jeffrey Dahmer? Do you believe in an afterlife? Innate belief in things beyond what's rational or natural are common to humans. In fact, according to award-winning cognitive scientist Bruce Hood, this "super sense" is something we're born with and essential to the way we learn to understand the world.
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June 28, 2010
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