Superstitious Thoughts

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For many of us we grew up hearing superstitious stories from relatives, friends, or the media. For example after saying something you do not want to happen the common phrase is "knock on wood", and a grandparents swears they can tell when it is about to rain because their joint start to hurt. Friday the 13th is another common superstition people hold to be true and fear bad events are bound to happen on this date. At one point or another we probably believed these notions to be true, but as we have learned we were prey to illusory correlation. Illusory correlation is perception of a statistical association between two variables where none cartoon.png
Now knowing this fact why do so many people still believe in superstitious thoughts and become victims of illusory correlation? In our Psychology book the authors make this question clear in the case of weird events happening on a night of a full moon. People are not going to get excited that NOTHING unusual happened during the full moon, and they will tend to forget about it. If something by chance does happen when there is a full moon they will remember this event which is the basis of most illusory correlations. In summary we tend to forget all the times nothing happened, the "nonevent", and only focus on the exciting part when the superstition deems true. So now after thinking about all the illusory correlations you have believed throughout the years are you going to change your ways... or still let your intuition lead you to illusory correlations? It may be easier said than done!!!01-wd1109-Superstitions.jpg

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This page contains a single entry by stuev027 published on September 26, 2011 3:08 PM.

Opposites Attract ?!?! was the previous entry in this blog.

illusory Correlation is the next entry in this blog.

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