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Insight Offered Into Superstitious Behavior

People who believe that fate and chance control their lives are more likely to be superstitious — but when faced with death they are likely to abandon superstition altogether, according to a recent Kansas State University undergraduate research project.

The project, led by Scott Fluke, a May 2010 K-State bachelor’s graduate in psychology, Olathe, focuses on personality traits that lead to superstition. Fluke received a $500 Doreen Shanteau Undergraduate Research Fellowship in 2009 to work with the team of Russell Webster, graduate student in psychology, Shorewood, Ill., and Donald Saucier, K-State associate professor of psychology.

After performing two studies, the researchers developed three reasons for superstitious behavior: individuals use superstitions to gain control over uncertainty; to decrease feelings of helplessness; and because it is easier to rely on superstition instead of coping strategies.

Read the original article at: Science Daily

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