Superstitions and rituals

I recently attended the 10 Conference, where I met Matt Hutson, author of The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking: How Irrational Beliefs Keep Us Happy, Healthy, and Sane.

I asked Matt to tell me about one of the laws:


I am fascinated by magical thinking (and my susceptibility to it).  I once wrote a post about how feeling disgusted influence behavior even when you know that it shouldn’t.

The key element to understanding magical thinking is the role that associations play in our thoughts, feelings, and behavior. We are quite good at detecting associations between phenomena, but sometimes we are too sensitive and detect associations that are not there. As Matt says, it is often better to commit a false alarm (detect a relationship that doesn’t exist) than it is to miss an association (fail to detect a relationship that is there).


Here are the other six laws (in book trailer format):