Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition - Updated Edition

Paperback | October 15, 2013

byStuart A. Vyse

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While we live in a technologically and scientifically advanced age, superstition is as widespread as ever. Not limited to just athletes and actors, superstitious beliefs are common among people of all occupations, educational backgrounds, and income levels. In this fully updated edition of Believing in Magic, 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 penchantfor developing rituals to fill time (to battle nerves, impatience, or both), our efforts to cope with uncertainty, the need for control, and more. In a new Introduction, Vyse discusses important developments and the latest research on jinxes, paranormal beliefs, and luck. He also distinguishes superstition from paranormal and religious beliefs and identifies the potential benefits of superstition for believers. He examines the research todemonstrate 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 by teaching decision analysis, promoting science education, and challenging ourselves tocritically evaluate the sources of our beliefs.

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While we live in a technologically and scientifically advanced age, superstition is as widespread as ever. Not limited to just athletes and actors, superstitious beliefs are common among people of all occupations, educational backgrounds, and income levels. In this fully updated edition of Believing in Magic, renowned superstition expe...

Stuart A. Vyse is Joanne Toor Cummings '50 Professor of Psychology at Connecticut College.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.68 inPublished:October 15, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019999692X

ISBN - 13:9780199996926

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Believing in Magic2. The Superstitious Person3. Superstition and Coincidence4. Superstitious Thinking5. Growing Up Superstitious6. Is Superstition Abnormal, Irrational, or Neither?7. A Magical View of the World