The virtual juxtaposition of Halloween and election day affords me the irresistable opportunity to write about…election superstitions.
Considering the critical state of our nation and the importance of the upcoming election, it is understandable that people from all walks of life may be engaging in superstitious activity. Thanks to Matt Hutson, from Psychology Today for emailing me this interesting post about 7 election superstitions.
For example, did you know that John McCain and most of his staff are extremely superstitious? McCain carries a lucky penny, a lucky nickel, a lucky quarter, a lucky compass, and a lucky feather. And that’s after he cut back on superstitious paraphenalia.
Also, it looks like Obama is going to win, but some who desire that outcome are less likely to say it. Because they’re afraid of jinxing it.
Barack Hussein Obama. Saddam Hussein. Osama Bin Laden. Studies have shown names matter. In one study, affixing a “poison” label to a bottle of sugar water caused people to avoid drinking it, even when they knew it was only water. People often reject baby names if they don’t like someone with the same name. And poor Obama has been “cursed” with names that have negative connotations.
Hutson also suggests that some people feel voting for Obama will “even the karmic playing field”, as if voting in a black president will constitute racial reparations.
The crux of superstition is that it gives us the illusion of control over events that are important to us, but outside our circle of influence. Humans are hard-wired to notice patterns and assign causal connections. Doing a simple cost/benefit analysis, it is less harmful to perform a futile supersitious act than to miss a valuable one. Hence, rabbit feet.