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The ghost in the machine: Why and how the belief in magic survives in the rational mind

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The ghost in the machine: Why and how the belief in magic survives in the rational mind. / Subbotsky, Eugene.

In: Human Development, Vol. 54, No. 3, 07.2011, p. 126-143.

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@article{adb7be167ee54cc88aa750e6888cc54f,
title = "The ghost in the machine: Why and how the belief in magic survives in the rational mind",
abstract = "Since the time of Galileo (1564 – 1642), Western civilization has increasingly fallen under the spell of science. Despite this fact, anthropological and psychological research has shown that magical beliefs are present in both children and adults in modern industrial cultures. How can a belief in magic coexist with a belief in science in the mind of a rational, educated adult? A possible explanation is that magical beliefs survive in the rational mind by going into the subconscious. The following hypothesis is considered in the series of studies presented in this paper: In modern industrial cultures, magical beliefs appear in preschool children as a legitimate, conscious form of belief that coexists with children{\textquoteright}s belief in physical causality and is supported by social environment. In older children and adults, under the pressure of scientific and religious education, magical beliefs descend into the domain of the subconscious. Experiments examining this hypothesis will be reviewed; theoretical and practical implications of the existence of subconscious magical beliefs in modern rational adults will be analyzed.",
keywords = "Magical beliefs , mind, subconsciousness ",
author = "Eugene Subbotsky",
year = "2011",
month = jul
doi = "10.1159/000329129",
language = "English",
volume = "54",
pages = "126--143",
journal = "Human Development",
issn = "0018-716X",
publisher = "S. Karger AG",
number = "3",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - The ghost in the machine: Why and how the belief in magic survives in the rational mind

AU - Subbotsky, Eugene

PY - 2011/7

Y1 - 2011/7

N2 - Since the time of Galileo (1564 – 1642), Western civilization has increasingly fallen under the spell of science. Despite this fact, anthropological and psychological research has shown that magical beliefs are present in both children and adults in modern industrial cultures. How can a belief in magic coexist with a belief in science in the mind of a rational, educated adult? A possible explanation is that magical beliefs survive in the rational mind by going into the subconscious. The following hypothesis is considered in the series of studies presented in this paper: In modern industrial cultures, magical beliefs appear in preschool children as a legitimate, conscious form of belief that coexists with children’s belief in physical causality and is supported by social environment. In older children and adults, under the pressure of scientific and religious education, magical beliefs descend into the domain of the subconscious. Experiments examining this hypothesis will be reviewed; theoretical and practical implications of the existence of subconscious magical beliefs in modern rational adults will be analyzed.

AB - Since the time of Galileo (1564 – 1642), Western civilization has increasingly fallen under the spell of science. Despite this fact, anthropological and psychological research has shown that magical beliefs are present in both children and adults in modern industrial cultures. How can a belief in magic coexist with a belief in science in the mind of a rational, educated adult? A possible explanation is that magical beliefs survive in the rational mind by going into the subconscious. The following hypothesis is considered in the series of studies presented in this paper: In modern industrial cultures, magical beliefs appear in preschool children as a legitimate, conscious form of belief that coexists with children’s belief in physical causality and is supported by social environment. In older children and adults, under the pressure of scientific and religious education, magical beliefs descend into the domain of the subconscious. Experiments examining this hypothesis will be reviewed; theoretical and practical implications of the existence of subconscious magical beliefs in modern rational adults will be analyzed.

KW - Magical beliefs

KW - mind

KW - subconsciousness

U2 - 10.1159/000329129

DO - 10.1159/000329129

M3 - Journal article

VL - 54

SP - 126

EP - 143

JO - Human Development

JF - Human Development

SN - 0018-716X

IS - 3

ER -