Our psychology and biology play a role in what we believe
Ritual practices and superstitious beliefs lie outside the scope of rational thought, and yet they still maintain a strong hold over people even today. The reasons behind this are couched in psychology and biology. The human brain is wired to seek out patterns and symmetry, meaning it is attracted to things that align (like triangles) and avoids or even is frightened of things that don’t (such as the number 13). Biologically, we are born with certain instincts intended to keep us alive and fed, and over centuries, these reflexes have evolved into unexplainable intuitions. When these two elements are combined and used to make sense of the world, the result is not always the most logical. Usually, superstitions are passed on to us as children, when our minds are still developing and are thus vulnerable to persuasion. Our instinctive need to maintain control and our desire to make things equal, or “perfect,” creates the ideal environment for superstitions to take root and grow in our minds.