Magical Thinking


Magical thinking is a term used in anthropology and psychology, denoting the fallacious attribution of causal relationships between actions and events, with subtle differences in meaning between the two fields.

Causality is the agency or efficacy that connects one process with another process or state, where the first is understood to be partly responsible for the second, and the second is dependent on the first.

Psychology is the study of behavior and mind, embracing all aspects of conscious and unconscious experience as well as thought.

Anthropology is the study of various aspects of humans within past and present societies.

The Seven Principles of Magical Thinking by hennicdesign


In anthropology, it denotes the attribution of causality between entities grouped with one another or similar to one another.

David Suzuki's power of magical thinking by Rebel Media


In psychology, the entities between which a causal relation has to be posited are more strictly delineated; here it denotes the belief that one's thoughts by themselves can bring about effects in the world or that thinking something corresponds with doing it.

Belief is the state of mind in which a person thinks something to be the case, with or without there being empirical evidence to prove that something is the case with factual certainty.


In both cases, the belief can cause a person to experience fear, seemingly not rationally justifiable to an observer outside the belief system, of performing certain acts or having certain thoughts because of an assumed correlation between doing so and threatening calamities.

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