Existential Tuesday | Why are we so superstitious?

How often do you catch yourself knocking on wood, avoiding black cats, or warding off the evil eye? Or calling out JINX! when two people say the same thing at the same time?

Most of us still behave superstitiously in one way or another. Controlling behavior, or even our thoughts, is meant to ward off bad luck and attract the good. But why do we do this? What are the underlying beliefs and assumptions about reality that support a superstitious worldview? What is “luck”? And why is this such a global phenomenon?

Superstition may seem harmless and mundane, but there’s some weirdly fascinating magical thinking at the root of it. Let’s investigate together, without judgment!


Existential Tuesdays are small bi-weekly discussions in the Nook of the TUD Library. Practice your critical thinking skills, learn to see the world from different perspectives, and hang out with your fellow deep thinkers in Delft.

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