We
consider ourselves highly advanced in terms of technology but still we don’t
pave our ways from following blindly the primitive ways of living. We don’t
actually realise this but, lot of our actions are determined by age old
traditions and customs. And sometimes we go beyond and blindly follow
superstitious things. Just think of a situation such as any Indian wedding. You
must have encountered a few rituals in it such as you have to use your right
hand’s fore and middle finger to put grains on some idol. You would not have
even thought about it but here you have followed blindly what the priest might
have said. You would never think about it why that priest asked you to use
those particular fingers to perform the ritual. The funny part is most probably
that priest himself wouldn’t know why to use those particular fingers. Here, my
friend, is the moment where superstition starts.

 

Theories
of Superstition

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

To date, the larger
part of hypotheses progressed to represent both superstitious conviction and
practice have been mental in character (see Jahoda 1970). Albeit both Freud and
Jung display understandings of superstition, Skinner’s claim that individuals
end up noticeably superstitious because of a procedure of mixed up or defective
learning is likely the best known hypothesis in this field (operation. cit.:
74ff). In spite of the fact that Piaget’s recommendation that superstition is
to clarified as an impermanent inversion, caused by uneasiness, to juvenile
convictions in enchantment and animism has additionally gotten much
consideration (Jahoda 1990: 1 02ff). Such is the strength of this style of
clarification that even non-analysts tend to introduce records of superstition
which are as a result, to a great extent mental in frame. Along these lines
Gowling in his investigation of the individual superstitions of footballers
recommends that they are taken after ‘so as to keep fortunes on that specific
individual’s side’, and that ‘following the schedules keeps genuine feelings of
serenity and gives certainty’. (1975: 142) However it was an anthropologist,
Malinowski, who cutting-edge what has moved toward becoming presumably the most
acclaimed and compelling of every single mental hypothesis of superstition.
Malinowski’s ‘hypothesis of the hole’ asserts that enchantment serves to
decrease nervousness, to fill the void of the obscure. Along these lines,
albeit individuals will utilize innovation to accomplish their points wherever
conceivable, a few circumstances contain unusualness and vulnerability. In this
manner Man, occupied with a progression of reasonable exercises, goes to a
hole; the seeker is disillusioned by his quarry, the mariner misses hopeful
breezes, the kayak manufacturer needs to manage some material which he is never
sure that it will stand the strain, or the solid individual all of a sudden
discovers his quality falling flat . . . his uneasiness, his apprehensions and
expectations, incite strain in his life form which drives him to a type of
action . . . His sensory system and his entire life form drive him to some
substitute action . . . His living being replicates the demonstrations proposed
by the reckoning of expectation. (1948: 79-81) It is critical to take note of
that in Malinowski’s hypothesis the movement which tension prompts is a ‘substitute
action’, something which happens set up of the instrumental demonstrations
which would be occupied with were there any which the performing artist viewed
likely as powerful. The results of this substitute action which can be said to
be utilitarian are to be discovered, Malinowski recommends, in the arrival of
tension or dread. Such acts in this manner satisfy a general cathartic capacity
for the individuals who perform them. Presently, all things considered, this
basically behaviorist contention does not appear to suggest anything. At the
point when on edge fathers-to-be stroll here and there outside a clinic
maternity ward they can be said to be headed to this because of their
uneasiness; the movement of strolling discharges pressure in the way depicted
by Malinowski. In any case, they don’t trust that this substitute movement
(given that there is nothing that they can really do to guarantee that the
birth continues easily) will really imply that mother and infant will be okay.
What makes a superstitious demonstration unique in relation to such activities,
in this way, is the person’s conviction that the cathartic action is
straightforwardly connected in some way with the coveted result, as it were the
nearness of a conviction that what the individual is doing will impact that
result in a coveted manner. On the off chance that fathers-to-be trusted that
their direct would ensure a palatable birth, at that point strolling all over
would be a superstitious demonstration of a mysterious kind. In this way while
Malinowski’s hypothesis can be said to clarify why people participate in
substitute movement during tension and stress, it just clarifies why they take
part in superstitious acts in the event that it is accepted that related
convictions are available. Naturally maybe such mental hypotheses have been
censured by sociologists for not considering social factors (Abercrombie et al.
1970). Not this would seem, by all accounts, to be a lot of an issue since
states, for example, uneasiness and dread are probably going to be
differentially circulated all through a given populace in a way which can be
considered. That superstitions are by and large more typical among fisher men
and mineworkers, for instance, than in numerous tantamount manual occupations,
could without a doubt be clarified as far as the more serious perils – and thus
the higher rate of the basic mental states – which go to these methods for
winning a living. A more genuine complaint is the way that most such hypotheses
turn out, on examination, to be speculations of enchantment. It is normal for
most medications of superstition that, when a hypothesis is propelled, the
marvel under scrutiny successfully winds up noticeably changed into
enchantment. Regardless of whether, so as to suit the absence of a related
conviction framework, it is some of the time portrayed as a sort of ‘rotted
enchantment’; that is enchantment which has turned out to be isolated from its
method of reasoning, with the end goal that individuals never again know why
they take part in the activities. In any case, the essential disadvantage with
every one of these speculations is that they are universalistic. They endeavor
to clarify a marvel – superstition – which is visualized as a uniform
trans-verifiable and trans-social wonder; something which is basically the same
in current Britain as it is in non-educated African or Melanesian ancestral
social orders, or in reality in Medieval Europe. Therefore, such hypotheses
don’t really address the marvel for superstitious conviction and practice in
contemporary society as this has critical attributes which recognize it from
its pre present day or ‘customary’ partner. In any case, one clear trouble is
that not at all like the circumstance in most customary or non-proficient
inborn social orders those superstitious practices attempted in contemporary
society are not by any means coordinated into traditions and institutional
practices of the general public overall. They are, in actuality,
individualistic, inconsequential to social parts and by and large without any
level of social solution. There are, obviously, a few exemptions to this.
Accordingly some stately events may be joined by the desire that specific
superstitious practices will be watched. For instance, that a lady of the hour will
wear something old and something blue on her big day; or that the prep will
shun seeing her in her wedding dress until the service. In any case, the
greater part of superstitious acts don’t happen in settings in which the
desires of others could be said to be a huge factor. Accordingly regularly
people may cross their fingers or abstain from strolling under a stepping stool
notwithstanding when alone or surreptitiously. Thusly, dissimilar to the types
of enchantment regularly contemplated by anthropologists, present day
superstitious practices commonly don’t seem to shape some portion of any
arrangement of aggregate custom activity. At that point, in the second place,
the practices themselves are commonly inconsequential to any arrangement of
convictions and thusly for the most part unaccompanied by a reason. In the
event that asked, experts are normally unfit to detail any motivation behind
why the moves they take part in make the shape they do. Infrequently they fall
back on some sort of traditionalistic legitimation, however since, as we have
recently observed, these activities are normally not coordinated into an
institutional system, even this may not be finished.