Wednesday, 5 Aug 2020

The Fascinating Science Behind Superstitious beliefs

There are many people in the world that look at gamblers and wonder why so many of them have unusual superstitious beliefs, and why they hold on to those beliefs even If they’ve lost everything. There is actually a lot of science behind why humans enjoy taking chances so much, and involves a complex system of risk versus reward that goes on in our brains. Here we will look at the science of why gambling superstitions are so popular and why they’ve remained prevalent to this day.

  1. Cause and Effect

This kind of belief is more closely tied to sports superstitions and focuses on a bettor subconsciously associating an event with good fortune, and it’s something that will alter his future decisions. This is a more popular kind of superstition in countries like India and is directly caused by our brains associating pure coincidence with greater meaning. It’s one of the oldest superstitions in the world, and one that’s likely to be around for a while longer.

  1. A False Bias

A false bias is considered as the foundation of most superstitions, where we tend to link two separate events to each other, even if there is no real, plausible link. A great example of this is the belief that black cats bring bad luck to those that see them. It’s a bias that’s also easy to reinforce organically, such as a person seeing a black cat on their way to work, and then having an accident at some point during the day coincidentally, and then blaming the cat for what happened. It’s easier for the human brain to link to events together due to the natural problem-solving instincts that come baked into our heads. But this kind of false bias can extend further than simple old wives’ tales and can be found frequently among those that like to bet often. They might associate a winning streak with a new necklace that they were wearing and will only play a certain game while wearing that necklace.

Statistically, the person will end up having a bad streak while donning the necklace, but by that stage the bias has already been cemented in their mind. This might cause an interruptions while they are discovering new activities to try, as they might make negative associations without any rational deductions first.

  1. Assigning Blame

This is another common source of superstitions, as it allows the person to instead project blame onto something other than themselves. This would be most notable for a person betting on a horse race, for instance, but when their chosen horse does not perform well on that day, they blame it on a bad omen rather than just accepting that sometimes not everything can turn out the way we want. Assigning blame is common among therapy patients and is a deep-rooted problem that does affect some people. Fortunately, most kinds of gambling superstitions tend to be much more light-hearted than this and are usually just a way to make the overall experience more enjoyable.