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Excurstion to the World Behind the Looking-Glass: Magic Thinking in the Modern World

Subbotsky Eugene

Doctor of Psychology

Professor, the department of Psychology, Lancaster University, Great Britain

CR0 2GG, Velikobritaniya, London oblast', g. Croydon, ul. Saffron Square, 11

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Abstract: In article questions are considered: What is the magic reality? This reality gets into what spheres of life of the modern person? In what the reason of penetration of magic reality into life of the modern person? To what consequences can lead such penetration? In the ancient time and the Middle Ages access to magic reality was provided by religion or alternative religions of practice: witchcraft, sorcery, astrology, alchemy. During the Renaissance era art joined them. In the XIX century there was a movement of a spiritualizm, in XX – parapsychology. At last at the end of XX - the beginning of the XXI century there are portable interactive forms of visual representation of magic reality – computer games and the Internet, and a wide circulation of individual electronic displays (laptops, ah-pedov, of iPhones, etc.) brought the interactive world of a world behind the looking-glass into a family and a nursery. Psychological researches showed that the belief in the magic world at the modern person didn't disappear, and left deep into the unconscious. This hidden belief sprouts to all spheres of modern life: economy, policy, medicine, morals, entertainments, education, even in physics and science about a brain. Why children "sit down" on games in which they possess magic force? Why rational people often make economically unprofitable decisions? How it turns out, what the educated people can accept opinion of politicians which contradicts its radical interests? Why in medicine the effect of placebo works? From where at terrorists, both during war, and during the world, such fanatical determination and strength of mind? How it is possible, what even in the absence of supervision, in themselves, some people choose good, but not angrily, acting contrary to own benefit? Why physiologists call work of a brain as "magic"? The answer to these and other questions – in extramental belief of the modern person in supernatural. Novelty: (1) For the first time some phenomena in the sphere of children's game, policy, economy, medicine, morals, and science about a brain are considered in the context of the last psychological researches of magic thinking; (2) Also consideration of historical evolution of access for the person to magic reality, and also consequences of contact with this reality for the individual and society is new. Conclusions: (1) The magic thinking during which known laws of physics can be broken, of biology and psychology, widely practices in the modern world in the form of entertainments, games, and other kinds of activity based on imagination; (2) Both children, and educated adults, consciously or unconsciously, trust in possibility of the supernatural; (3) This hidden belief generates specific effects in different spheres of life: to policy, economy, medicine, the moral sphere, the sphere of entertainments, even in the sphere of science; (4) The wide circulation of interactive electronic displays facilitates access for the modern person to the imagined world of the supernatural; (5) As a result the probability of influence of the hidden belief in supernatural on behavior of the person increases.

Keywords: magic thinking, magic reality, the world behind the looking-glass, belief in magic, magic of economy, magic of politics, magic of good morals, magic of medicine, magic of brains, participation
This article written in Russian. You can find full text of article in Russian here .

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