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Science of Superstition: How the Developing Brain Creates Supernatural Beliefs Paperback – 29 June 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 33 ratings

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ HarperOne (29 June 2010)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0061452653
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0061452659
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 2.03 x 13.21 x 20.07 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.2 out of 5 stars 33 ratings

Product description


In recent years, there has been a lot written about religion, superstition, and faith, but there has never been a book like this. . . SuperSense is a joy to read--beautifully written, deeply clever and funny, replete with brilliant insights and observations.--Paul Bloom Professor, Department of Psychology, Yale University Author of Descartes' Baby: How the science of child development explains what makes us human

"...a fun and illuminating book."--Newsweek

Dr. Hood, a world-class scholar in the field of cognitive science, explains the many weird and wonderful ways that we humans naturally view the world as ruled by supernatural phenomena. Bruce Hood's SuperSense is sensational.--Susan A. Gelman Susan A. Gelman Susan A. Gelman, author of The Essential Child

[A] fascinating, timely and important book. . . . Hood's presentation of the science behind our supersense is crystal clear and utterly engaging.--New Scientist

If we understood our own irrationality, and why so many people believe in ghosts, spirits, and invisible powers, then we might be able to improve the way we think. With quirkily fun examples and fascinating experiments Bruce Hood explains why we can't always escape our Supersense.--Dr. Susan Blackmore, author of Conversations on Consciousness

In an account chock full of real-world examples reinforced by experimental research, Hood's marvelous book is an important contribution to the psychological literature that is revealing the actuality of our very irrational human nature.--Science

Magical thinking is a defining feature of the human mind - the source of all that is sublime and absurd about our species. In this timely exploration of the psychology of irrational belief Bruce Hood pulls off the rare feat of being both authoritative and wonderfully entertaining. Brilliant.--Paul Broks, author of Into the Silent Land: Travels in Neuropsychology

Reading SuperSense is like having lunch with your favorite professor--the conversation spans religion, biology, psychology, philosophy, and early childhood development. One thing is for sure, you'll never see the world in the same way again.--Ori Brafman, New York Times bestselling author of Sway

"Hood's treatise provides a much-needed counterbalance to hardcore skeptics by arguing that supersense, while not exactly grounded in rationality, ultimately gives our lives meaning."--Booklist

A compelling account of how beliefs in the supernatural world spring from the natural way our minds make sense of our experiences.--Daniel M. Wegner, Harvard Professor of Psychology, author of The Illusion of Conscious Will

An intriguing look at a feature of the human mind that is subtle in its operation but profound in its consequences.--Steven Pinker, Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of How the Mind Works and The Stuff of Thought

Read this beautifully written book, and you will lose some childhood innocence about how the world works. But, it will leave you wiser about yourself, and what it is to be human.--Guy Claxton, author of Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind: How Intelligence Increases When You Think Less

Supersense is a terrifically fun read. But it is much more: though we may forever believe in ghosts, goblins and the beneficent deities, with a dose of skeptical scientific realism, a la Hood, there is hope that sanity will prevail.--Marc Hauser, Harvard College Professor, author of Moral Minds

From the Back Cover

In The Science of Superstition, cognitive psychologist Bruce Hood examines the ways in which humans understand the supernatural, revealing what makes us believe in the unbelievable.

*Previously published as SuperSense.

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Tim K
4.0 out of 5 stars Good research, but falls flat at parts.
Reviewed in the United States on 3 June 2012
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41 people found this helpful
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Curious Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Why does superstition persist?
Reviewed in the United States on 10 January 2017
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4 people found this helpful
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Michael S. Gross
3.0 out of 5 stars "Superstition" isn't a "thing" -- it's just a garbage basket category of popular beliefs inconsistent with science and ...
Reviewed in the United States on 5 October 2017
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2 people found this helpful
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Alice Bernstein, Ph.D.
3.0 out of 5 stars I am glad that the author includes a complete bibliography so that ...
Reviewed in the United States on 22 November 2015
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24 people found this helpful
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Steve Harrington
5.0 out of 5 stars Science of superstition
Reviewed in the United States on 9 December 2016
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3 people found this helpful
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