If there is a universal truth
about superstition, it is that superstitious behavior
emerges as a response to uncertainty -- to circumstances that are inherently
random and uncontrollable. Malinowski's analysis of superstition based
on observations of Trobriand fisherman is still valid: we are most likely to
employ magic when we venture out into the dangerous outer waters of our world,
where our fate is less secure. . . .
Although the superstitious person
may gain a sense of control from his rituals, I get a similar feeling from being
able to think rationally about the circumstances I face. Even when I have
no power over important events in my life, I gain a feeling of control from
in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition, by Stuart A. Vyse (Oxford U.
Press, 2000), pgs. 201, 220
Irrational investment habits
lead to lower returns
. . .
The paper also alludes to superstitious traders
having a “general cognitive disability in financial decision making”, a
diplomatic way of saying they are nitwits.
The Economist, here,
discussing "Do Superstitious Traders Lose Money?” by Utpal Bhattacharya,
Wei-Yu Kuo, Tse-Chun Lin and Jing Zhao, 2014, SSRN Working Paper.
What connects superstition,
conspiracy theories, and seeing things that aren’t there?
. . .
New evidence from a study by
Jennifer Whitson at the University of Texas and Adam Galinsky at Northwestern
University, Illinois, tackles this problem. . . .
"Despite their surface
disparities, seeing figures in noise, forming illusory correlations, creating superstitious rituals,
and perceiving conspiracy beliefs all represent the same underlying process:
the identification of a coherent and meaningful interrelationship among a set
of random or unrelated stimuli . . . "
discussing and quoting J. A. Whitson & A. D. Galinsky's "Lacking
Control Increases Illusory Pattern Perception," Science, Issue
5898. Vol. 322, pgs. 115-117 (2008)
some historical rulers who were reputed to be verry