Superstitious Beliefs And Perceive Of Control

1405 words - 6 pages

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 high superstitious beliefs, people tend to perceive that they have control over an uncontrollable event even though the outcomes are randomly controlled. This statement is strengthen by a study by Rudski (2004), who founded that those with higher superstitious beliefs portrays an illusion of control over a uncertain outcomes.
Although there are numerous studies that suggest that superstitious beliefs increases in an individual as a result of partially or totally uncontrollability thus creating a perception that the particular individual have more control over the outcomes. However, there has little to no studies on whether these individuals who have high superstitious beliefs perceive that other individuals might also have control over the same partially uncontrollable events.

In this study, participant were faced with an event of partially uncontrollable outcomes and were asked on how much control they had over the event. In a second situation, participants were showed of another individual performing the same task and asked on how much this individuals have control over the outcomes of the event. Participants answered Superstitious Beliefs Questionnaire (SBQ) in order to identify superstitious level each...

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