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(Reference retrieved automatically from Web of Science through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

Behavior and illusions: a model to study superstition in a participant replacement experiment

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Lobato Benvenuti, Marcelo Frota [1, 2] ; Nogara de Toledo, Thais Ferro [3] ; Velasco, Saulo Missiaggia [4] ; Duarte, Flavia Meneses [5]
Total Authors: 4
[1] Univ Sao Paulo, Dept Psicol Expt, Sao Paulo - Brazil
[2] Inst Nacl Ciencia & Tecnol Comportamento Cognicao, Sao Carlos, SP - Brazil
[3] Univ Fed Mato Grosso, Dept Psicol, Rondonopolis - Brazil
[4] Nucleo Paradigma Anal Comportamento, Sao Paulo - Brazil
[5] Univ Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo - Brazil
Total Affiliations: 5
Document type: Journal article
Web of Science Citations: 1

The notion of superstitious behavior can provide a basic background for understanding such notions as illusions and beliefs. The present study investigated the social mechanism of the transmission of superstitious behavior in an experiment that utilized participant replacement. The sample was composed of a total of 38 participants. Participants performed a task on a computer: they could click a colored rectangle using the mouse. When the rectangle was in a particular color, the participants received points independently of their behavior (variable time schedule). When the color of the rectangle was changed, no points were presented (extinction). Under an Individual Exposure condition, ten participants worked alone on the task. Other participants were exposed to the same experimental task under a Social Exposure condition, in which each participant first learned by observation and then worked on the task in a participant replacement (chain) procedure. The first participant in each chain in the Social Exposure condition was a confederate who worked on the task ``superstitiously,{''} clicking the rectangle when points were presented. Superstitious responding was transmitted because of the behavior of the confederate. This also influenced estimates of personal control. These findings suggest that social learning can facilitate the acquisition and maintenance of superstitious behavior and the illusion of control. Our data also suggest that superstitious behavior and the illusion of control may involve similar learning principles. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 11/22216-0 - Ilusion of control and selction of behavior: the role of social and cultural variables
Grantee:Marcelo Frota Lobato Benvenuti
Support type: Regular Research Grants
FAPESP's process: 08/57705-8 - Institute for the Study of Behavior, Cognition and Teaching
Grantee:Deisy das Graças de Souza
Support type: Research Projects - Thematic Grants