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WWL>Topics>>6-13 815am Tommy, superstitions

6-13 815am Tommy, superstitions

Jun 13, 2014|

Tommy talks to Stuart Vyse, Professor of Psychology at Connecticut College and author of "Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstitions," about why people are superstitious

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Superstition we have had some weird things happen here today on Friday the thirteenth in the full moon. Things that seem contradictory and I don't understand albeit. Back to that elevator right now Stewart licenses professor of psychology community college. And author of believing in magic the psychology of superstition. -- While there -- courier well very well thank you tell me about dom you know when your beliefs I guess and we if you bullet -- you do anything different on Friday the thirteenth. Or normally are you a superstitious man. I did do something different Friday at thirteen -- talk on the radio. If you're here it's gonna be bands like my friend -- you know. Let -- about you glad that. Well if it's a book about. Why people believe in superstition in general and thirteen and probably the most famous. But you know we are supposed to be living in -- scientific age and rational people sophisticated. Educated. But still people do things that seem very irrational and and that's what the book about why people. How did all of this start with a thirteen -- and how did they get a bad. Did god out of thirteen hit a bad reputation against. That's actually. Either literally there have been books written on that topic -- is a question of some debate. But the best explanation that I have. Heard. Is that it does in fact come from the last supper that. That -- thirteen people at a dinner table was first unlucky. You said the number thirteen and and that was the superstition for quite a while. -- spec at least the seventeenth century England. And and then eventually thirteen. Just -- freed from the dinner table and became bad numbers general. And and and eventually that meant that it is connected up -- Friday because Friday had been about like today. All along Friday it was known as saying Wednesday. And what it is that people felt was a bad like date should start a new venture or or doing. So so the two kind of combined. Over time. It would make you wonder if there had been a waiter at the last supper of fourteen would've been the unlucky number. Exactly and apparently in France. They're used to be a situation where you could you crude higher buried at the last minute -- -- that cut toward the room. Up fourteen dinner. Who would show up. Then perhaps you had arranged for that dinner party with fifteen people to people drop suddenly you've got a bad number. And and so you would call up to cut toward Yemen -- he or she would come over to a triple. Did not know that'd be a good jumper for some it was a -- tell me what comes to. Why people still do it in the in this advanced technical age did do they think it gives them some kind of control over what's gonna happen. That's exactly right now and it could be the you know despite the fact that we are in this technological age and we have control over many things in life. A lot of the most important thing of all our help for example. Getting a job at a job interview. Doing well on an exam first student. And to some degree these things are not entirely under our control and yet they matter a -- -- care a lot about them. And so in those cases where there's uncertainty. Perhaps some anxiety. About about the things that were open jet. Then then superstitions are likely to number. -- build confidence too I guess even even if there's no. Rational reason behind it. Absolutely the positive ones do the right into the real distinction. Between pot -- superstitions like good good luck charms and and so on. And the negative ones like our thirteen. Of the gridlock one's definitely do improve your conference and there's evidence that they. They actually improve your performance in the skilled activity if you were just. So all the athlete out there were superstition or not internally created. But it but the negative repercussions like Friday the thirteenth I I don't release should be real upside to that. The -- and we will certainly be better we have learned in the. It on just wondering as you say that what did today would you do casino if if that businesses slower maybe some people think it's a a refers kind of like I don't know the book is believing in magic the psychology of superstition. Stewart vice manner -- easy author and the book Steward you get an Amazon.com. Yeah all of the usual places the Amazon. Barnes & Noble center. Thank you so much you I'm so glad you joined a Soviet a very weak and happy father's if appropriate. Thank you to.

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