7 Laws of Magical Thinking How Irrational Beliefs Keep Us Happy, Healthy, and Sane

ISBN-10: 1594630879
ISBN-13: 9781594630873
Edition: 2012
Authors: Matthew Hutson
List price: $25.95
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Description: "Psychologists have documented a litany of cognitive biases--misperceptions of the world--and explained their positive functions. Now, Matthew Hutson shows us that even the most hard-core skeptic indulges in magical thinking all the time--and it's  More...

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Book details

List price: $25.95
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 4/12/2012
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 304
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.188
Language: English

"Psychologists have documented a litany of cognitive biases--misperceptions of the world--and explained their positive functions. Now, Matthew Hutson shows us that even the most hard-core skeptic indulges in magical thinking all the time--and it's crucial to our survival. Drawing on evolution, cognitive science, and neuroscience, Hutson shows us that magical thinking has been so useful to us that it's hardwired into our brains. It encourages us to think that we actually have free will. It helps make us believe that we have an underlying purpose in the world. It can even protect us from the paralyzing awareness of our own mortality. In other words, magical thinking is a completely irrational way of making our lives make rational sense. With wonderfully entertaining stories, personal reflections, and sharp observations, Hutson reveals our deepest fears and longings"--

Introduction: We're All Believers
Objects Carry Essences: Cooties, Contagion, and Historicity
Symbols Have Power: Spells, Ceremonies, and the Law of Similarity
Actions Have Distant Consequences: Using Superstition to Make Luck Work for You
The Mind Knows No Bounds: Psychokinesis, ESP, and Transcendence
The Soul Lives On: Death Is Not the End of Us
The World Is Alive: Animals, Objects, and Gods Are People, Too
Everything Happens for a Reason: You've Got a Date with Destiny
Epilogue: The World Is Sacred: A Stab at a Secular Spirituality Spirituality
Acknowledgments
Notes
Further Reading and Selected Bibliography
Index

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