jump to last post 1-5 of 5 discussions (13 posts)

Why do you think some people gravitate towards magical thinking?

  1. threekeys profile image81
    threekeysposted 8 days ago

    Can you give at least one example of where magical thinking can come into play.

    1. dashingscorpio profile image87
      dashingscorpioposted 5 days agoin reply to this

      I guess it really depends on how one defines "magical thinking".
      Is it having "faith" without evidence? Affirmations? Visualizations? or other techniques people have been known to utilize for achieving goals?

      Even the bible says: "Let the weak say I am strong."
      Is it an act of delusion? an affirmation? psychological law of attraction?

      Whatever it is I suspect people are willing to try things that other people they want to emulate claimed they used to get where they are.
      Lastly the brain/mind is still a mystery in many ways.
      It's been written our thoughts and perceptions determine how we live.

      Does having a negative or positive outlook affect our lives.
      If so, is this a form of "magical thinking"?

      Many people "imagine" being in a better situation than they are in.
      Almost everyone who succeeds had a mental picture or dream first.
      They kept reinforcing it and believing until it "magically appeared". smile

  2. Lew Marcrum profile image95
    Lew Marcrumposted 8 days ago

    Please define "magical thinking".  Are you talking of fanciful daydreams of unicorns and rainbows, or the opposite end of the spectrum , delving in ancient black arts?  And there are a lot of definitions in between these.

    1. threekeys profile image81
      threekeysposted 7 days agoin reply to this

      Hmmm...good question and I am going to leave it up to you define what is meant by magical thinking. This will allow for wider perspectives to take shape and that will make the conversation more interesting. Yes?

    2. greenmind profile image95
      greenmindposted 7 days agoin reply to this

      It refers to confusion about causality.

      1. threekeys profile image81
        threekeysposted 7 days agoin reply to this

        Greenmind could you please put what youve said in another way for me because I dont understand that frame of reference. Many thanks:)

        1. greenmind profile image95
          greenmindposted 7 days agoin reply to this

          Causality means one thing causes or influences another. Magical thinking is perceiving causality where it hasn't been shown to actually exist. Astrology is a good example.
          You can accept or reject this, but it's what "magical thinking" is.

          1. wilderness profile image96
            wildernessposted 7 days agoin reply to this

            Sounds right to me.  Would you include religious beliefs in that as well?  God made Katrina to punish evil doers, demons made me do wrong, etc.?

  3. blueheron profile image96
    blueheronposted 7 days ago

    Magical thinking, broadly, is something people will engage in when they feel that have no control of outcomes. It's comforting to imagine that you can control outcomes by casting a spell, praying to God, "visualizing," or simply "believing."

    The "confusion about causality" angle, I think, is that people who engage in magical thinking are sometimes perfectly aware of realistic causality--but they also know or believe that it won't work for them. (E.g., they would like to have a better job, but they are illiterate.) Sometimes such people are willfully blind to causality and simply refuse to accept the realities involved in getting what they want. And sometimes they are completely ignorant of causality.

    Mostly, magical thinking is something people do when they feel powerless, and almost everyone engages in it. Even people whose lives are very secure face illness and death.

    1. threekeys profile image81
      threekeysposted 7 days agoin reply to this

      I understand now. Thank You.
      When hope is gone, I think I would be trying any kind of approach to get me through. If that means magical thinking, please include me.

      1. greenmind profile image95
        greenmindposted 6 days agoin reply to this

        Threekeys I remember writing a paper in college about "structural functionalism." As I remember, the idea was that if there's something in your culture that has a meaningful role and "works" in some way to help life make sense, then there's no point in asking whether it's magical, or correct, or provable. If it works, THAT'S what's interesting and valuable.

  4. Jessie L Watson profile image94
    Jessie L Watsonposted 6 days ago

    That's a good question. People don't have ideas and beliefs, ideas and beliefs have people. It's more useful to think about it that way.

    I get frustrated when I see trends like "Manifestation" gaining popularity over reason and science. The most attractive thing about magical thinking is that it absolves people of the responsibility to take action in their lives. I know of a rather large group of people that make tons of money by telling people that they can "manifest" things in their life if they stare at a wall or masturbate into a cup. This is a strange modern derivative of dated occult practices with no basis in reality. People want a quick fix. The same type of people that don't have the willpower to sacrifice anything that might be holding them back or adopting responsibility that would yield more freedom and opportunities in their life.

    Another part of it is, people naturally want to understand the world. If the world can be reduced to magic and infinite interpretation then there's no need to accept reality or learn anything new. It's the "aha, I have the answer to life". Just like how Deepak Chopra tries to justify his claims by quoting quantum mechanics. A field in which most physicists hardly understand let alone some guru with a yacht.

  5. threekeys profile image81
    threekeysposted 6 days ago