Why People Believe in Superstitions

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About this sample


Words: 627 |

Page: 1|

4 min read

Published: Nov 15, 2018

Words: 627|Page: 1|4 min read

Published: Nov 15, 2018

A recent study showed that superstitious beliefs may also increase a person’s belief in his or her own abilities and talents. Participants who were given good luck charms set higher goals for what they wanted to achieve on the tasks, and said they felt more confident in their abilities. (

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The term superstition is thought to derive from the Latin superstitio, meaning “to stand over in awe.” The term is also related to the Latin word superstes (“outliving” or “surviving”). In this sense refers to the remains of ideas and beliefs that continued long after their original meaning had been forgotten. For this reason superstitions are often considered relics of outmoded ways of thinking. (

A very large number of people strongly believe in the bad luck that comes after breaking a mirror, encountering a black cat or choosing the number 13. Some people believe that passing below a ladder can bring bad luck, others believe that four leaved clovers can bring good luck or carrying a rabbit’s foot. The question now is why do people believe in these things. We have had superstitions since the beginning of time and they will remain with us till the very end. They are powerful and can influence people how to behave and act in everyday life. They are also are very mysterious. The most common superstition worldwide is black cats in the night. Do you shiver or feel scared when you come across a black cat. The ancient belief goes way back when it was thought that cats were the companion of witches and that it changed into a witch or Satan after seven years of working. So people assumed that a cat that crosses your path might be a witch or a devil that is up to no good.

Another common superstition is one that is said to bring you seven years of bad luck. Breaking a mirror. Way before mirrors were invented a smooth/shiny surface was considered a tool of the gods. For example water in the ponds and lakes. One day a man was wondering around and saw his reflection in the water he called it his soul or other self and he believed that if his other self were disturbed in any way it would mean injuring the soul. Well right now you probably thinking why 7 years of bad luck? Since a broken mirror meant broken health. It was thought that you would need seven years to recover.

Most people believe that superstitious beliefs originated during the earliest days of humanity. Faced with natural phenomena like thunderstorms and earthquakes, as well as the unpredictability of illness and food supply so human beings attempted to create an understandable world that could be influenced by action. The earliest superstitions were created as a way to deal with the fear of the unknown. Many also believe Superstitions can be learned behaviors. Children who watch those around them perform superstitious actions like “knocking on wood” or not walking under ladders may adopt these behaviors.

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The true origins of certain superstitions can be centuries old having been passed down from generation to generation through such an observational learning process.Often, superstitions are born from casual coincidence. For example, if an athlete wears a particular pair of socks on a day they win or do really good. He or she may continue to wear the same pair of socks in the belief that the socks were responsible for the success. Future successes reinforce such a belief. In some cases it is certainly possible that the simple belief in success or failure can influence the outcome. The athlete who cannot find his “lucky socks” may due to lack of confidence, perform poorly so further reinforcing the belief in the power of the socks.

Works Cited:

  1. Edwards, J. (1741). Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. Retrieved from
  2. Fish, S. E. (1980). Interpreting Jonathan Edwards: An essay on religious, language, and cultural interpretation. Pennsylvania State University Press.
  3. Gonzalez, O. (2010). The hand of God: A reassessment of Jonathan Edwards' view of divine sovereignty. Church History and Religious Culture, 90(1-2), 157-181.
  4. Holmes, S. (2008). God of grace and God of wrath: An analysis of Jonathan Edwards’ view of God in light of his sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”. Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society, 21(41), 21-38.
  5. Kapic, K. M. (2014). Jonathan Edwards: A life. Yale University Press.
  6. Miller, P. (2008). Sinners in the hands of an angry god: A sermon preached at Enfield, July 8th, 1741. Bibliolife.
  7. Ritchie, J. E. (1997). Jonathan Edwards: His life and legacy. Westminster John Knox Press.
  8. Robinson, J. A. T. (1962). The wrath of God and the passion of Christ: Jonathan Edwards’ analysis of the atonement. Eerdmans.
  9. Stout, H. S. (1991). The preaching of Jonathan Edwards. Journal of American History, 78(1), 63-91.
  10. Wainwright, W. J. (1961). Jonathan Edwards: Preacher of the gospel. Abingdon Press.
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Why people believe in superstitions. (2018, October 26). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 29, 2024, from
“Why people believe in superstitions.” GradesFixer, 26 Oct. 2018,
Why people believe in superstitions. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 29 May 2024].
Why people believe in superstitions [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Oct 26 [cited 2024 May 29]. Available from:
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