MagicalThinking or Behavior
MagicalThinking or Behavior
Oneof the magical behaviors that people, especially players, adapt isthat they develop a daily routine which they usually follow. They dosimilar things day after another like trained animals in an attemptto reduce uncertainty and chances of error (Gmelch,1978).They disregard anything that tends to get them out of the routine.For instance, in sports, players develop a habit of sitting in thesame spot. An individual would tend to sit on the same position he orshe did the previous day. If one made a mistake of sitting in adifferent position, immediate correction would be made ot avoid whatis referred to as a bad luck. Routines are usually comforting. Theytend to introduce order into the world where people have less controlover outcomes. It is advantageous since sometimes it helps theplayers concentrate in competitions. However, if they overdo theroutines they end up becoming rituals as an anthropologist woulddefine it. These can be defined as certain behaviors whereby thereare no empirical connections between the desired results and themeans used. They are not rational. Similarly to these there are thenon-rational beliefs which are the basis of fetishes as well astaboos.
Taboosdiffer from rituals or routines. They are mostly connected to aprohibition (Gmelch,1978).Players think that in doing a certain undertaking leads to anundesirable result. Examples may include avoiding going over thewhite foul lines which may result to a defeat in a match. Additionalbehaviors would be players avoiding shaving, eating or seeing somepeople before a competition. They believe or think that suchbehaviors might cause undesired outcomes of the game. While most ofthese are idiosyncratic, there are some that all players hold. Theydo not develop out of misfortune or someone’s experiences. Taboosusually develop from exceptionally below par performances wherebyindividuals in search of reason, connect it to various behaviors.
Sometimesthey are referred to as charms. They are specific things or materialsthat an individual feels that they are offering protection due totheir supernatural powers (Gmelch,1978).Under the category, there are good lucks which are standard objectsfor ballplayers. They may include such things as chains orcrucifixes. In sports, for instance, the fetishized thing may besomething one worn when a match was won or a streak of successescoincided with it. Also, a common habit found in sports that can becategorized as fetish is the uniform numbers. Some players are soobsessed with specific ones such that they cannot trade it foranything else since it makes them perform better and helps the teamwin.
Oneof the magical behaviors I used to do was to sit on a specific deskduring exams. I would locate it if it is not in the position that Ileft it. Some would claim that I had written answers on it but if Iused that exam table during the tests I could find the paper doableand consequently score high marks. If I missed it, I would experiencea tough test before me, and it was not to my surprise that I wouldscore low during that specific unit.
Thehabit would fall under routine and ritual. It is because it was aroutine I used to follow to ensure success. It is individually-basedsince it was not a habit being done in a certain culture. I onlypracticed the habit without the knowledge of other classmates. It wasa personal experience that started when I sat for one exam and passedbeyond my expectations. During the consequent papers, I located thesame seat, and since then it became a habit.
Gmelch,G. (1978). Baseball magic. HumanNature,1(8),3240.