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It is possible to induce incorrect notions of cause and effect in most people in just a few minutes. All that is necessary is to expose them to rewards which they believe they are generating based on their actions when in fact the rewards are randomly awarded. People will latch onto any seeming success and repeat it, even when they have to explain repeated failures as well. It appears practically impossible, or at least very rare, for humans not to be influenced by immediate experiences of concrete results. This is true even if the experiences turn out to have limited theoretical validity. The moment of surprise is not when people repeat alchemical failures but when they begin to do something else.

Naomi Janowitz

#magic #magical-thinking #prayer #religion #ritual

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