Feeling out of control leads to magical thinking

Here is an article I found on the Mind Hacks blog. The article centers around the side effects of feeling out of control.

Article Introduction (Via Mind Hacks)

Psychology Today journalist Matthew Hutson covers some fascinating experiments just published in this week’s Science that found that reducing participants’ control increase the tendency for magical thinking and the perception of illusory meaning in random or patternless visual scenes.

Article Excerpts (Via Mind Hacks)

“In the fourth study, people who recalled a situation where they lacked control were more likely to see nonexistent images in snowy pictures and were also more likely to suspect conspiracies in ambiguous vignettes.”

“The fifth experiment showed that describing the stock market as volatile (versus stable) renders people more likely to spot false correlations in reports on company financials—and then make stock investments based on their unfounded conclusions.”

“…feeling good about yourself reduces the frantic grasping for straws. Apparently, increasing self-esteem fosters a sense of control over one’s life and reduces the need to seek additional stability in random noise.”

Click here to MindHacks Article Review

Click here for the Original Article (From Psychology Today)

About Miguel Barbosa

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05. October 2008 by Miguel Barbosa
Categories: Curated Readings, Psychology & Sociology | Leave a comment

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