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Why do people believe in superstitions
By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.
Do you believe in Friday 13th or four leaved clovers?
A very large number of people strongly believe in the bad luck that comes after breaking a mirror, encountering a black cat or choosing the number 13.
Some people believe that passing below a ladder can bring bad luck, others believe that four leaved clovers can bring good luck while a third group believe that carrying a rabbit's foot can bring good luck.
The question now is why do people believe in such things instead of believing that they have full control over their destiny?
Here is the quick answer: Those people don't want to believe that they have full control because it scares them, in other words, they believe in superstitions because it makes them feel safe.
why do people believe in superstitions
But some of these things are really true, i tried them myself
I know what came to your mind now. You tried some of these things before and they actually worked, remember how horrible was the last Friday 13th? or remember how lucky you were when you held that 4 leafed clover?
I will answer your question by explaining how the mind works. Your mind was designed to selectively collect clues that proves its existing beliefs true. In other words if you believe in Friday 13th then most probably you will ignore all good events that happen on that day and focus on the bad ones.
If you broke a mirror you will focus on the bad events and ignore the good ones for as long as you believe the bad luck lasts.
In addition the placebo effect further solidifies these superstitious beliefs you hold. if you believe a rabbit's foot can make you perform better then you will actually perform better just because your mind will program itself to prove your beliefs true.(see The subconscious mind)
If one day you dropped that rabbit's foot without noticing then you will still perform better just because you believe that its still in your pocket.
in brief, you believe in superstitions because you need to not because they are true.
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