why do people believe in fortune telling

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Why do people believe in fortune telling?

Why do some people use coffee cups to read their fortune?
Why do others use cards to know about the future?
Why do some people see the religious symbols they believe in everywere including tomato slices?
Why do people believe in fortune telling?

Before i can answer these questions i should first give you a brief introduction to perception psychology. Some people think that the things they see with their eyes appear the same to everyone but that's not true.

The same moment your eyes see an object your mind starts doing some editing functions. Your mind can distort an object to make it look like another one (for example mistaking a wooden stick for a snake or believing that a person is one of your friends only to find him someone else when he comes closer). (see also How your emotions affect your perception of the world)

How come we sometimes see things in a different way? Here are some quick answers:

  • 1) You see your fears: Because your mind wants you to stay safe it will fire the alarm signal whenever any object that looks like an object you fear appears. That's why people who fear ghosts sometimes mistake hanging clothes for ghosts.
  • 2) You see what you are obsessed with: If you like a certain girl then you might start seeing her everywhere. For example, you will always encounter people who look like her only to discover that there is no match when they come closer. Your mind always lets you see whatever you want to encounter (see 5 things you should know about attractivess perceptoin)
  • 3) You see clues that support your beliefs: Many people who believe in certain religious symbols find these symbols in slices of a tomato, on tree branches and on the surface of their soup. People want to feel reassured about their beliefs and that's why their minds distort their perception to let them find evidence that can support their beliefs. I do beleive in religions but some people try to prove their beliefs correct by force using such incorrect signals and the only thing they succeed in is making religious people look stupid (see How do people twist facts to support their beleifs)

What does perception psychology has to do with fortune telling?

People want to see their dreams in a cup of coffee and that's why their minds distort their perception to let them see the things they want.

But things aren't always that positive, because people have fears as well their minds will let them see some of their fears in the same cup.

In other words one of the main reasons people believe in fortune telling is that their distorted perception helps them believe that fortune telling works! After all if i saw the one i love in a cup of coffee then fortune telling must be true. (see also Why do people have double standards)

Whether you are checking your future in a cup of coffee or some cards you will always find out something that relates to you just because your mind was designed that way.

Lack of control and fortune telling

In my previous article Why do people believe in superstitions i said that lack of control over ones life can be among the strongest motivators forces a person to believe in luck and fortune telling.

In the Solid Self confidence program i said that if you feel that you don't have control over your life then you will become happy to know that some other force is going to help you get what you want. If you cant become rich then nothing will make you more delighted than knowing that its written in a cup of coffee that you will become rich.

In other words people believe in fortune telling because they need to believe in it. People want someone to tell them that their lives will improve, that they will become happy and that good things are going to happen to them.

2knowmysef is not a complicated medical website nor a boring online encyclopedia but rather a place where you will find simple, to the point and effective information that is backed by psychology and presented in a simple way that you can understand and apply. If you think that this is some kind of marketing hype then see what other visitors say about 2knowmyself.

The Solid confidence program was launched by 2knowmyself.com; the program will either help you become more confident or give you your money back.

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