Superstitions are a control issue

Source: The Star

On Friday the 13th, Star readers share their superstitions. Why do they persist in an information age? Well, we are hard-wired to believe certain behaviours result in reward or punishment, so superstitions provide a simple reason for things that one can never fully understand.

Mara Glebovs found this horseshoe in Cuba. It now hangs above her garage door for luck.
Mara Glebovs found this horseshoe in Cuba. It now hangs above her garage door for luck.   (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

Steve Joordens doesn’t get spooked by Friday the 13th, a black cat crossing his path, or spilling salt.

But, this University of Toronto psychology professor does have one superstition. While on vacation, he braces for three bad things to happen. So if he loses his luggage, misses a train or forgets his camera, he puts the blame squarely on Loki, known in Norse mythology as a mischievous trickster.

“This bizarre, completely irrational, belief helps me deal with those annoyances and frustrations,” Joordens says. “I can shake them off and say, ‘Oh, Loki is having fun with us.’ ”

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