The Science of Superstition: How the Developing Brain Creates Supernatural Beliefs

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Harper Collins, Jun 29, 2010 - Psychology - 320 pages
3 Reviews

“In an account chock full of real-world examples reinforced by experimental research, Hood’s marvelous book is an important contribution to the psychological literature that is revealing the actuality of our very irrational human nature.” — Science

In the vein of Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink, Mary Roach’s Spook, and Dan Ariely’s Predictably Irrational, The Science of Superstition uses hard science to explain pervasive irrational beliefs and behaviors: from the superstitious rituals of sports stars, to the depreciated value of houses where murders were committed, to the adoration of Elvis.

 

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SuperSense: Why We Believe in the Unbelievable

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Hood (director, Bristol Cognitive Development Ctr., Univ. of Bristol) presents an intriguing study of an undefined sense apart from the five human senses with which we are familiar. He most often ... Read full review

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Contents

ONE What Secret Do John McEnroe and David Beckham Share?
1
TWO Could You Wear a Killers Cardigan?
21
THREE Who Created Creationism?
37
FOUR Blooming Buzzing Babies
73
SEVEN Would You Willingly Receive a Heart Transplant from a Murderer?
167
EIGHT Why Do Traveling Salesmen Sleep with Teddy Bears?
197
NINE The Biology of Belief
223
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About the author (2010)

BRUCE HOOD is the author of The Science of Superstition and is one of the leading international authorities on child development and supernatural thinking in adults. He has a PhD from the University of Cambridge and has been a faculty member at UCL and Harvard and was a visiting scientist at MIT. He is currently the chair of developmental psychology at Bristol University in England and director of the Bristol Cognitive Development Centre. Born in Toronto, he now lives in Bristol, England.

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