Why we believe

Tuesday, December 09, 2008 at 1:07:00 AM by Randy B

"Belief in the paranormal reflects normal brain activity carried to an extreme."

From Newsweek: A study reported a few weeks ago in the journal Science found that people asked to recall a time when they felt a loss of control saw more patterns in random noise, perceived more conspiracies in stories they read and imagined illusory correlations in financial markets than people who were not reminded that events are sometimes beyond their control. “In the absence of perceived control, people become susceptible to detecting patterns in an effort to regain some sense of organization,” says psychology researcher Bruce Hood of the University of Bristol, whose book “Supersense: Why We Believe in the Unbelievable” explores the mental processes behind belief in the paranormal.