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Tags: ANDRA CRĂCIUN , evolutionary psychology , superstition , adaptation

The adaptive function of superstition from an evolutionary psychology perspective

Andra Crăciun
University of Bucharest, Department of Psychology


Evolutionary psychology is a relatively new approach to human development, which has lately brought valuable and insightful conclusions that contribute to explaining human nature. The present article proposes to explore the mentioned domain's point of view regarding the adaptive function which superstition might have played along the evolutionary time. The subject is of interest regarding the fact that superstition is still prevalent within our own culture but also most of other cultures, despite the fact that science's contribution to explaining the world we live in has reached levels high enough to offer most of the answers we might be looking for. Superstition seems to be a “shortcut” for rational and causal thinking, in which the superstitious subject prefers to fill in the information gaps regarding a given situation and chose the action to be taken under the bases of the highest perceived benefits or of the existing available information, whether we speak of inherent, evolutionary-based information, cultural views or the simple observation of coincidence.

Keywords: evolutionary psychology, superstition, adaptation


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