Conceptual and Experimental Directions for Analyzing Superstition in the Behavioral Analysis of Culture

Natalia Marques, Felipe Leite, Marcelo Frota Lobato Benvenuti


This paper examines the notions of illusions and beliefs, discussing some advantages offered by the study of these phenomena based on the concepts of superstitious behavior, superstition and superstitious rules. Among these advantages, the study highlights the possibility of researching these relationships in different levels of analysis, not only at the individual level, focusing on cultural level, this paper presents Cultural Materialism as an anthropological proposal for the consideration of these phenomena on the cultural level and based on adaptive principles, besides it discusses the experimental analysis of cultural practices and points out how they can help to understand how people in groups behave such as they are being effective in the control of the surrounding environment (when, sometimes, in fact, they are not). The paper offers an integrative proposal which makes easier behavior analysts’ dialogue with social psychologists and offers some routes from cultural analysis of illusions and beliefs

Palabras clave

beliefs, illusions, superstition, Behavioral Analysis of Culture

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