Why do people believe in superstitions?

Why educated people also have superstitions? Why do people believe superstitions?


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  1. 1 To turn fears into objects

    The human mind can turn unbearable fears into objects so that a person can release some of his stored fears. A person who has a fear of the future might end up believing in ghosts because such a belief will allow him to vent some of his real life fears.

  2. 2 To feel in control

    When people attribute the bad events that happen to them to something such as passing below a ladder, they feel more in control of their lives. Some people believe in superstitions because they give them more feelings of control.

  3. 3 The human mind always wants an explanation

    The human mind is always eager to find an explanation to bad events. A plane crash is a very unfortunate event. If it troubles a person and if he doesn't find a reason for it, he might try to attribute it to any superstitious belief he believes in such as the bad luck of Friday 13th.

  4. 4 To get a false sense of confidence

    Some people carry objects such as a rabbit foot because it helps them believe that things are going to go well. The belief in superstition can result from our desire to be certain about the uncontrolled future events.

  5. 5 To relieve anxiety

    Making choices can be hard for the brain, and to some people, it can result in unpleasant feelings. By believing in something such as a lucky number, a person can easily make the choice without experiencing much stress.

  6. 6 Superstitious beliefs reinforce themselves

    The way the human mind works results in the reinforcement of superstitious beliefs. A person who believes that black cats bring bad luck is very likely to attribute an ordinary bad event, that happens to him often, to the fact that he came across a black cat before the event happened.

  7. 7 Because they have external locus of control

    People who have external locus of control, a term referring to the person who believes that everything that happens to him is out of his hands, is more likely to develop superstitious beliefs than people who have internal locus of control.

  8. 8 The placebo effect can strengthen the beliefs

    The placebo effect, the fact that the human brain can fulfill a certain prophecy that is based on a certain belief, can make the superstitious belief seem more real. This could be the reason why some people are more likely to make accidents on Friday 13th.

  9. 9 Historic and religious basis

    Some beliefs have historic and religious roots. For example, some Christians, and not all, believe that the number 13 is unlucky because it refers to Judas Iscariot who was the 13th person to join Christ's table in the last supper.

  10. 10 Ignorance of real causes

    Many superstitions happen out of ignorance of the main causes that resulted in a certain unpleasant event. A person who didn't understand the cause of a certain event could easily attribute it to a superstitious belief that helps his mind calm down.

  11. 11 Inherited by the culture

    Some people inherit the belief in superstitions from their culture. In some countries, it's believed that opening an umbrella in the house brings bad luck. In China, it's believed that breaking a mirror results in bad luck.

  12. 12 Fear of taking responsibility

    The belief in superstitions can also be rooted to the fear of taking responsibility. A person who is too afraid to handle something might attribute it to superstitions and so escape the responsibility.


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