11-3-19: habit, superstition and placebo

Chapman GrubbNovember 03, 2019

Habits are repeated actions for desired outcomes. Superstitions are habits with a false conception of causation. Placebo is superstition causing desired outcomes. These ideas are similar on a conceptual level - they suggest situational consistency. They all have to do with cause and effect. These concepts are woven together and all carry weight over each other. Superstition and placebo are both easily manipulated concepts; tools to help create better, positive habits. 

A simple example. I habitually play poker in my Minnesota Vikings jersey. That’s because - the first tournament I won in Vegas was in my Bridgewater uniform. Superstition makes me believe that what I wore had an impact in the game (better cards, better luck, better play). My habit reinforcing that superstition has propagated a positive placebo. 

Showing up to play poker in my Minnesota Vikings jersey puts me in a confident, capable and successful headspace. This habit, while tinted with irrationality, only serves to benefit me. Are there any habits you can build based on your personal beliefs?

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