SuperSense by Bruce M. Hood

Shot, Edited, and Produced by Abby Berendt Lavoi

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John McEnroe notoriously refused to step on the white lines of a tennis court between points. Wade Boggs insisted on eating a chicken dinner before every Boston Red Sox game. Presidential candidate Barak Obama played a game of basketball the morning of his victory in the Iowa primary, and continued the tradition the day of every following primary. Superstitious habits are common. Do you ever cross your fingers, knock on wood, avoid walking under ladders, or step around black cats? Sentimental value often supercedes material worth. If someone offered to replace your childhood teddy bear or wedding ring with a brand new, exact replica, would you do it? How about $20 for trying on a sweater owned by Jeffrey Dahmer? Do you believe in an afterlife?

Innate belief in things beyond whats rational or natural are common to humans. In fact, according to award-winning cognitive scientist Bruce Hood, this super sense is something were born with and essential to the way we learn to understand the world. We couldnt live without it! Therefore it is unlikely that any effort to get rid of supernatural beliefs, or the superstitious behaviors that accompany them, will be successful. Moreover, these beliefs are essential in binding us together as a society. We are inclined from the start to think that there are unseen patterns, forces and essences inhabiting the world. (Creative types rely upon this ability to see patterns in the world.) This way of thinking is unavoidable, and it may be part of human nature to see ourselves connected to each other at this deeper level.

SuperSense: Why We Believe in the Unbelievable
Author: Bruce M. Hood
ISBN: 9780061452642

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