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Magical Thinking

Awe Increases Religious Belief

Matthew Hutson | Posted 02.12.2014 | Science
Matthew Hutson

An analysis of astronauts' reports reveals that for many, the awesomeness of spaceflight increased their belief in God. New research may explain why.

Magical Thinking: Fears of the Dark and What Lurks Under the Bed

Kerry L. Malawista, MSW, Ph.D. | Posted 11.30.2013 | Parents
Kerry L. Malawista, MSW, Ph.D.

Nighttime fears are common in kids Max's age. We are all familiar with a young child's fears of monsters and what lurks under the bed. I believe they most often represent a healthy way for a child to express his or her dawning awareness that the world can be a dangerous place.

All Paths Lead to Magical Thinking

Matthew Hutson | Posted 11.19.2013 | Science
Matthew Hutson

You believe in God or astrology or a purpose in life because you apply ideas about people -- that they have thoughts and intentions -- to the natural world. What has not been clarified is exactly how various cognitive biases interact to produce specific ideas about the supernatural -- until now.

The Pros and Cons of Magical Thinking

Carlota Zimmerman | Posted 10.15.2013 | Small Business
Carlota Zimmerman

Seriously, if changing your life was easy, do you really think we'd have three-for-one happy hours, or that anyone would seriously care about Kate and Wills' baby? Please. They'd be fully engaged in their own exciting lives.

More Trick Than Treat

Victor Stenger | Posted 08.12.2013 | TED Weekends
Victor Stenger

I suppose Keith Barry's magic show was entertaining, though far from exceptional. But TED audiences expect more for their money than to be simply entertained. They are expecting to learn something. What were they supposed to learn from Barry's performance?

How the Law of Attraction and Wishful Thinking Keep You Fearful

Jonathan Alpert | Posted 09.21.2013 | Healthy Living
Jonathan Alpert

Wishful thinking is usually an outgrowth of a fear. People don't resort to wishful thinking because it works. They resort to wishful thinking because it allows them to avoid confronting their fear. Wishful thinking allows you to avoid discomfort, stress, change, anxiety and pressure.

Magical Thinking

Robert Koehler | Posted 09.04.2013 | Technology
Robert Koehler

Oh laptop, a mere four and a half years in my possession! Uh, it's kind of obsolete, they said. The money you invest in repair could go toward a new machine, one that's much faster. "More magical." They didn't say that but they meant it. And: "The prices start pretty low."

Magical Thinking About Unread Books

Lillian Daniel | Posted 06.29.2013 | Religion
Lillian Daniel

I am always carrying books around in the hope of reading them. It's as if I believe that if I continually carry piles of books from my church, to my car, to my home and then back to church again, the information from all those books will somehow just sink into my aching arms.

Why We All Need a Little Magic in Our Lives

Menna van Praag | Posted 06.29.2013 | Healthy Living
Menna van Praag

Real life can be difficult enough, being too realistic will only make you depressed. The best way to deal with reality, in my experience, is to bring as much magic to it as possible!

The Day After

Adam Kirk Edgerton | Posted 06.16.2013 | Crime
Adam Kirk Edgerton

Although most of us will return to normal, we will mourn for the injured and the fallen. But selfishly we will also mourn our former selves. We are no longer the people who went blithely to Boylston yesterday.

Even Top Scientists Believe Everything Was Created by Magic

Matthew Hutson | Posted 05.19.2013 | Science
Matthew Hutson

The sense that certain things were "meant to be" or even that "everything happens for a reason" is encouraged by the intuitive assumption that a mind is guiding all the events in our lives.

What Kind of Thinker Believes in God?

Matthew Hutson | Posted 04.27.2013 | Science
Matthew Hutson

A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1.00 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost? Your answer to this question will help me guess whether you believe in God.

9 Magical Moments In Every Person's Life

Posted 12.08.2012 | OWN

By Erin Morgenstern Author extraordinaire Erin Morgenstern -- the genius behind The Night Circus -- shows us those brief, unexpected times that ele...

Smirking And Magical Thinking

Richard J. Rosendall | Posted 12.16.2012 | Gay Voices
Richard J. Rosendall

One of the wonders of our age is the persistence of "birthers" and other true believers who insist that Barack Obama is an Islamist terrorist mole bent on destroying America, but this flight from reality isn't only a problem on the right.

eBay to Prohibit Selling of Psychic and Other Paranormal Services

D.J. Grothe | Posted 10.17.2012 | Weird News
D.J. Grothe

Some psychic practitioners on eBay offer supernatural medical consultations and healing services, while others offer love potions and spells. But it appears that all of this will soon be a thing of the past.

The Karmic Connection: Do We Expect Good Fortune After Helping Others?

Matthew Hutson | Posted 09.29.2012 | Science
Matthew Hutson

In general, if you're nice to people, good things come your way, but if you're jagoff, look out. These expectations make sense in social situations, where people can retaliate or return favors, and where reputation matters. But we expect the universe to play by the same rules -- to manifest karma.

Self-Help for the Self-Help Averse

Lauren Cahn | Posted 09.07.2012 | GPS for the Soul
Lauren Cahn

Every day, my Twitter feed and my Facebook ticker are littered with pithy soundbites that purport to unlock the secret of personal fulfillment -- and I find myself wincing. When a soundbite is presented without context, it might sound profound, but it is often meaningless or misconstrued.

Do We See People in Persistent Vegetative States As More Dead Than Dead People?

Matthew Hutson | Posted 07.22.2012 | Science
Matthew Hutson

What do we think of people in persistent vegetative states, who can breathe but can't think? Mentally, they are dead, but since we're very aware of the body still lying there, we can't as easily imagine them as active characters in our lives.

Are There Really No Atheists In Foxholes?

Matthew Hutson | Posted 07.14.2012 | Religion
Matthew Hutson

New research suggests that inducing fear of death at least makes atheists a little less entrenched in their beliefs.

Can Emotions Haunt Houses?

Matthew Hutson | Posted 07.09.2012 | Science
Matthew Hutson

In the 1990s Trent Reznor purchased the house where Charles Manson's "family" had murdered Sharon Tate. The house felt "sad," he's said. Last October a paper was published suggesting that we all have a tendency to believe that emotions leave a trace in the physical environment.

Teddy Bears Make You Friendlier -- and Maybe Healthier

Matthew Hutson | Posted 06.30.2012 | Science
Matthew Hutson

Given that isolation increases stress and cortisol production, and that petting dogs reduces blood pressure, the researchers suggest that touching a teddy bear might make you not just happier and nicer but healthier too.

13 Reasons Why Non-Believers Don't Exist

Matthew Hutson | Posted 06.13.2012 | Books
Matthew Hutson

Whether you think you do or not, you believe in magic. I don't mean the magic of love or romance. I mean stuff that, as far as scientific consensus is concerned, is not possible, and is a little spooky, and would get you burned at the stake if you claimed mastery of in another era.

The Psychology Of Donation

Art Markman, Ph.D. | Posted 12.30.2011 | Healthy Living
Art Markman, Ph.D.

The choice to give money to charity becomes a personal one. We use those donations to help protect ourselves from thought that dangerous things could happen to us.

How Our Beliefs Shape Our Actions In The world

Susan Smalley, Ph.D. | Posted 11.17.2011 | Healthy Living
Susan Smalley, Ph.D.

It became clearer to me that how we relate to our "beliefs" may be more important than the belief or knowledge itself.

Adoption Myth Buster: What it Takes to Wake

Jennifer Lauck | Posted 11.17.2011 | Healthy Living
Jennifer Lauck

Every human being on the planet comes through the womb of a mother. To force a mother to choose between keeping her offspring or losing acceptance by the culture is to force her to split in half and as a result, to collapse.