Why We Believe in the Unbelievable

This month’s Great Read helps us look at superstitions not as signs of ignorance, but as signs of our brains working in unusual ways to make sense of the world.

If you lost your wedding ring, and I offered to replace it with an exact and shiny new duplicate, would you accept it — or would your previous ring carry traces of history and meaning somehow?

If you were cold, would you wear a clean and attractive sweater if it was once worn by Jeffrey Dahmer — or would human evil cling to it, and rub off on you?

In Supersense, professor Bruce Hood studies how and why we believe in superstitions and the supernatural, and his approach is totally refreshing! Instead of treating these beliefs as ridiculous, Hood does surprising research on and about these beliefs, and helps us understand what our brains are doing when they imagine that (for instance) wedding rings or sweaters carry memories or human essences inside them.

The paperback version is called The Science of Superstition: How the Developing Brain Creates Supernatural Beliefs. This is a wonderful book full of useful, surprising, strange, and delightful findings from an excellent writer and scientist!

You can learn more or purchase Supersense here.

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