Superstition [9:56]

Description

The video starts with two of the most famous early studies in superstition, B. F. Skinner’s “Superstition in the Pidgeon” and then Forer’s “The Fallacy of Personal Validation” concerning astrology.  The short, comprehensive video also discusses the idiomotor effect, wigi boards, ghost hunting shows, homeopathy, placebo effects, medical rituals, prayer, and confirmation bias.  The video ends with a list of pros and cons of what we lose when we dismiss superstitions and the value of taking control over our lives.

Discussion Questions

  • What superstitions do you have or had?
  • What are the pros and cons of superstitions?  Given the positive effects placebos, are there any superstitions that are worth having?
  • What rituals do you have in your life?  Does eating dinner at the same time and place or things like birthday parties count as rituals?
  • Why do you think so many people continue to take homeopathic medicine, pray, and watch ghost hunting shows even when there is so much information out there about them?

Keywords: religion, superstition, astrology, Skinner, biases, homeopathy, placebo, rationality, paranormal, critical thinking

Advertisements

What Did you Think of the Video??

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s