Posted on: June 30, 2021; Updated on: June 30, 2021By Barry Markovskies

The beginnings of many superstitions are unknown. Others deserve to be traced to certain times in history, sociology professor Barry Markovsky writes in The Conversation. Included in this second category is a superstition that is between 2,000 and also 2,700 years old: Breaking a mirror brings seven years of bad luck.

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Eincredibly human society has actually superstitions. In some Asian cultures human being believe that sweeping a floor after suncollection brings bad luck, and also that it’s a curse to leave chopsticks standing in a bowl of rice. In the U.S., some human being panic if they accidentally walk under a ladder or watch a black cat cross their path. Also, many tall structures don’t label their 13th floors as such because of that number’s association with bad luck.

The beginnings of many superstitions are unrecognized. Others can be traced to particular times in background. Included in this second category is a superstition that is between 2,000 and also 2,700 years old: Breaking a mirror brings salso years of bad luck. It so taken place that in both primitive Greece and also the Romale Empire, reflected imeras were thneed to have mysterious powers. It is likely in among these times and also locations that the damaged mirror superstition started its rise in popularity.

As a social psychologist who studies mirebab.netellaneous ways that people influence one one more, I am farebab.netinated as soon as teams geneprice ideas that are pure “social constructions” without necessarily having actually any kind of basis in truth. I argue that the superstition around damaged mirrors might be rooted in these prehistoric beliefs.

Historical origins

The Greeks believed that one’s reflection on the surface of a pool of water revealed one’s heart. But it was Roguy artisans that actually learned to manufacture mirrors from polimelted steel surdeals with, and believed their gods oboffered souls via these gadgets. To damages a mirror was considered so disrespectful that people believed it compelled the gods to rain bad luck on anyone so caremuch less.

Around the third century mirrors were being made from glass, and breakage became a lot even more commonlocation. But the Romans did not think that the ensuing negative luck would certainly last forever. They believed that the body renewed itself eincredibly salso years.

The belief that excellent luck would ultimately rerevolve was surely comforting, and also world have always tfinished to believe points that make them feel good, also once untrue.

Psychological and social origins

The huguy mind repetitively and unconrebab.netiously searcs for helpful trends. For instance, we make it through by recognizing feeding trends and put ourselves in the best places at the ideal times for meals. We also stop injury or death when crossing a busy street by recognizing traffic patterns. Getting fed and avoiding being squamelted in website traffic both involve learning real cause-and-effect trends.

Sometimes, yet, our brains infer cause-and-effect patterns that aren’t real. Suppose that a friend provides you a “lucky penny.” You’re cynical, but a couple of days pass and also nothing poor happens. Though it’s just a coincidence, your brain might still infer a pattern, and also you may start to think the penny resulted in the run of good luck. A superstition is born.

We additionally acquire superstitious ideas in the time of socialization, finding out about them from parental fees and other trusted authorities while still young and also open up to a civilization complete of magical possibilities. Then our superstitions circulate indefinitely among households and friends, reinforced by word of mouth, social media and also electronic media. The even more civilization tbelow are supporting the superstition, the even more believable it will certainly seem and the much longer it will persist.

Helpful or harmful?

If a superstition happens to make us even more mindful around mirrors, there’s no harm in that. More primarily, superstitions have the right to lower tension and also improve performance once we direbab.netover ourselves in tough instances. They likewise can be fun and exciting to talk around, and promote group solidarity.

On the other hand also, one does must continue via caution. Superstitions are false ideas that have the right to regularly produce anxiety and also guilt. They can make us feel responsible for negative outcomes we didn’t reason, or waste our power seeking untallow shortcuts to preferred outcomes.

Common sense alone ought to be reason sufficient to deter us from shattering mirrors.


This write-up is republiburned from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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Banner image photo credit: Damaging a mirror was thought to invite the wrath of the gods in prehistoric societies. Fairfax Media using Getty Images

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