Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition
by Stuart A. Vyse (Goodreads Author)
Why is superstitious behavior so prevalent? How is this behavior established and maintained? Is there a superstitious personality? How do otherwise rational people come to put their faith in such ephemera? These are the provocative questions that Stuart Vyse addresses in Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition. Superstitions, he writes, are the natural result of...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published April 24th 1997 by Oxford University Press, USA
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An excellent book about the psychology of superstition. I have read a couple of other books on this topic and this is by far the better book. The critical analysis and history of psychological studies related to superstition make it a fun and thought provoking book.
To an extent, these books can merge into one, there is only so much information to cover, even if different books will cover different aspects. This one, though slim was pretty information dense. "Believing in magi" is probably a bit of a deceptive title, the subtitle "the Psychology of Superstition" more accurately describes the book. As is usually the case, I was familiar with some of the examples, but other examples were new to me, and I did gain some insight into such beliefs and how they ma...more
Stuart Vyse is a professor of psychology at Connecticut College in New London, CT. He earned BA and MA degrees in English literature at Southern Illinois University and MA and PhD degrees in psychology at the University of Rhode Island. He has published over thirty professional articles and book chapters on topics including autism, skepticism, belief in the paranormal, and behavior analysis. He be...moreMore about Stuart A. Vyse...