Here ye, here ye. Buddhists. Atheists. Christians. Jews. Atheists. Skeptics of all stripes. You are all superstitious, whether you want to admit it or not.
Superstition can be a bad thing. We often take on irrational beliefs that fly in the face of incontrovertible facts.
And yet, superstitions can also be very beneficial if we know how to train our minds. As Matt Hutson points out in an intriguing new book, we are hardwired to think irrationally, and often ascribe human agency to objects that have none. It is how we learn to interact with the world. We look for things to mate with, or to eat. We certainly don't want to mistake something as friendly that is looking to eat us.
So how can irrational, or magical thinking, as Hutson terms it, benefit us? Hutson tells Big Think that there are numerous ways that we can use magical thinking to help us survive a breakup or the loss of a job, and also to set our eyes on our highest aspirations. If we can visualize ourselves in successful scenarios, we are more likely to achieve them.