Question: Are you superstitious?


  1. Not really. If I find myself doing something superstitious (i always used to put my left sock on first before a baseball games) I deliberately try to do it the other way round to prove to myself that it doesn’t matter. I like that people develop them though. Makes things a lot more interesting 🙂


  2. Hi Twright,

    Not at all.

    The definition of superstition is that there is supernatural causality, or to put it another way, that things beyond our natural world can cause things to happen in the natural world.

    So far, there has never been a case where the only and best explanation for something in the natural world has been something beyond the natural world. In fact, if the supernatural was real, it would be impossible to do science, because you would not know what is causing the cause that you are trying to examine.

    But this does not mean that I am not interested in superstitions. These sorts of things can tell us a lot about ourselves. They tell us about behaviour, why we do what we do, and what it means to be human.

    James mentioned a very interesting one with regards to socks. Studies show that when it comes to batting in baseball, people go through more superstitious traditions than they do when pitching, this is due to the way we try and deal with what we have control of. This can then lead to placebo superstition, that because you have gone through something like putting your socks on a certain way, mentally you are better prepared and therefore do perform better. It is not because of the putting on the socks in the correct order, but is actually due to the way the brain is working.

    It is fascinating area of psychology.


  3. Hey @twright1. I wasn’t until I had a ouija board experience as a teenager. Freaked the *&^% out of me. Can’t explain it and don’t want to think about it again. aaaaaarrrghhhhh………….


  4. Hi twright1,
    I’d say I’m not really very superstitious, but I do sometimes find myself doing things in certain ways. I agree with Dustin that it is an interesting area of psychology, and I also like to find out how certain superstitions came about. I haven’t had any spooky experiences myself but it is interesting hearing about them. You never know what is out there! Have you had any spooky experiences like Chris?


  5. No. Don’t believe in superstitions. People adopt routines to help them perform tasks under pressure. In sport you see it all the time. It is a method for controlling your actions in the pursuit of a particular outcome. But believing that a particular routine is necessary (putting one batting glove on first, adjusting your batting pads in a particular way between deliveries etc) is superstitious. Any infinite number of routines would be just as good and have the same effect.