The Effects of Superstition on Stress Levels and the Relationship between Superstition and Religion
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AbstractBeliefs in paranormal phenomena have often been divided into various subcategories, with superstition and religion being the two subcategories to be scientifically studied. Current research on superstition has shown that there is an important relationship between stress and superstition. Research has led to conclusions that superstitious beliefs increase in times of stress, enhance performance and even help reduce feelings of stress (Keinan, 1994; Keinan, 2002, Langer, 197; Teo & Lasikiewicz, 2015). Additionally, many studies have suggested there is an important relationship between religion and superstition, indicating both positive and negative relationships. To gain more insight into these relationships, 28 participants between the ages of 18 and 71 with an average age of 35 took part in a cognitive experiment. They were placed into four conditions with 7 participants in each. The experiment utilised a Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) and five self-report questionnaires. The results investigating superstition and stress found two significant results. One showed that there was an increase in state anxiety (STAI) over time during the experiment, and the second revealed that participants in the no-stress condition with a lucky pen had significantly higher heart rates (HR) than those in the no-stress condition without the lucky pen. Additionally the results revealed no significant correlations between religion and superstition. Although the results found no conclusive evidence to support the hypotheses, the significant results suggest there may be a relationship between stress and superstition, and the results of religion and superstition highlight how experimental improvements may be required in further research.
CitationRoddy, S. (2016). The effects of superstition on stress levels and the relationship between superstition and religion (Master's thesis). University of Chester, United Kingdom.
PublisherUniversity of Chester
TypeThesis or dissertation
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