Friday, August 13, 2021

Psychologists explain Friday the 13th superstitions and what to do about them

Friday the 13th! For today's observance, I'm sharing two videos featuring psychologists who explain how and why people develop superstitions and what to do about them. I begin with Durango (Colorado) Daily News on Why Friday the 13th Is(n’t) Bad Luck, which also describes the history behind today's date.

Do you think bad things happen on Friday the 13th? We talk to Fort Lewis College Psychology Professor Brian Burke about the origins of superstition in society and why they have a hold on us.
While Professor Burke explains how and why superstitions begin and continue, he doesn't say anything about them other than they are coincidences and implies that we shouldn't believe them. Studio 10 in Australia's guest in Friday the 13th Superstitions makes that more explicit. It helps that the panel spices up the lesson by adding humor.

We speak with psychologist Sally-Anne McCormack about SUPERSTITIONS on this freaky date.
It's amazing how much breaking a mirror bothered the panel, although they did cite non-superstitious reasons for their feelings; it's destructive and poses a risk of injury. On the other hand, they were divided about opening an umbrella indoors. Personally, I found it a bit silly and inconsiderate of other people's space but still funny.

I close by noting that today is the only Friday the 13th this year, as the following calendar shows.

It could be worse. The years 2023, 2024, and 2029 will have two, just as 2020 did, and 2026 will have three, the most possible. That last occurred in 2015. Gee, did anything bad happen that year? Coincidence, I'm sure.

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