This post was imported from Livejournal on 2008.07.18

Group Asks for Divine Intervention to Ease Oil Prices

If this isn't the epitome of the desperation that breeds religious belief, I don't know what is. I can just see a primal tribe, dancing around the gas station parking lot, hoping that the magical sign drops a cent, and if it does, just once, they'll believe they caused it.

It's about as intelligent as a dog. And I mean that literally. A dog will do whatever action it was doing when it received a good fortune, such as a treat, because it attributes its actions to be the cause. There's a psychological term for it, but it's been too long since I was in a Psych class for me to remember it.

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Tags: prayer, stupidity

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Comment by Jim Craft on July 18, 2008 at 12:11pm
LJ User [chris462]
2008-07-04 12:19 pm (from 199.209.144.15)

In terms of the dogs, you're talking about classical conditioning.

Conditioning usually requires multiple cause/effect cycles, though, so I'm not sure that the Gas Tribe -- as given -- neatly fits into the same label.


LJ User [apostasist]
2008-07-04 12:27 pm (from 199.209.144.15)

Actually, that's operant conditioning. Classical conditioning is on a less conscious level.

What I'm talking about, in terms of attribution theory, is probably closer to the egocentric bias.


LJ User [apostasist]
2008-07-04 12:30 pm (from 199.209.144.15)

Ah, I think I found it, Self-serving bias. It's the same idea as trying something 60 times, and when it works once, applying more weight to the success than to the failures.

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