Tag: fear and anxiety

An Epidemic of Magical Thinking


When was the last time you stated a thought like, “At least we haven’t completely lost our republic,” and followed that with a quickly stated, “Knock on wood,” looking for a wooden object or knocking your forehead as an easy substitute? Or made a wish when blowing out candles on your birthday cake? Or carried a rabbit’s foot or other favored item for good luck? Many of us follow these practices and sometimes even realize that we do them playfully, without an expectation for results. Mostly. These wishes and desires are a form of “magical thinking” and are relatively harmless in most situations. But I propose that in this time of COVID-19, magical thinking has infected the worldwide population.

What is the definition of magical thinking? Here is one definition:

Magical thinking refers to the idea that you can influence the outcome of specific events by doing something that has no bearing on the circumstances.