Superstitious Beliefs and Perceive of Control

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Introduction There is no doubt that human has no full control of the outcome of an event. In a condition of uncontrollability, we usually perceive that the outcome of the event is due to external locus of control (e.g., system and superstition). In fact, in a study conducted by Matute (1994, 1995) proves that participants are prone to react in accordance with their superstition practice and creating an illusion of control when facing uncontrollable events. This proves that those with superstitious beliefs considered themselves to have control over uncontrollable outcomes. According to Vyse (2000), Superstitious beliefs is a belief in supernormal causality - the outcome of an event is due to another event without scientific explanation linking both events (e.g., breaking mirrors and black cats cause bad luck). Studies shown that throughout times of unsureness, uncontrollability or vagueness, superstitious beliefs are reported to be high. For example Padgett and Jorgenson (1982) states that during the Great Depression of the United State, there was an increase in interest learning astrology. Similarly, Keinan (1994) observed that citizens that live in areas that are more likely to be bomb by missiles have higher level of paranormal thoughts than those who are living in more peaceful region. Malinowski (1954) reported that superstitious beliefs was clearly seem when Trobriand islanders went fishing in a lower success rate area - open sea. However, this trend was absent when fishing in higher success rate area - lagoon. Irwin (1992) suggested in his study that by turning to superstitious beliefs, the beliefs might help in coming up with a perception of control over an uncontrollable events. This shows that, by possessing a... ... middle of paper ... ... 67(1), 48-55. Malinowski, B. (1954). Magic, science, and religion. Garden City, NY: Doubleday. Matute, H. (1994). Learned helplessness and superstitious behavior as opposite effects of uncontrollable reinforcement in humans. Learning and Motivation, 25(2), 216-232. Matute, H. (1995). Human reactions to uncontrollable outcomes: Further evidence for superstitions rather than helplessness. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 48B(2), 142-157. Padgett, V. R., & Jorgenson, D. O. (1982). Superstition and economic threat: Germany, 1918-1940. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 8(4), 736-741. Rudski, J. (2004). The illusion of control, superstitious belief, and optimism. Current Psychology, 22(4), 306-315 Vyse, S. A. (2000). Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition (pp. 19–22). Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
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