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October 2021

Scand J Psychol. 1998 Dec; 39(4): 257-65.

Motivation, cognition and pseudoscience.

Lindeman M.

Department of Psychology, Applied Division, University of Helsinki, Finland.

The article proposes a framework that views pseudoscientific beliefs as a joint function of the basic social motives and the default way of processing everyday information. The interplay between the basic motives and experiential thinking is illustrated with three examples. The first concerns comprehension of self via astrology and graphology, and the second involves the comprehension of unexpected events (one domain of the motive to comprehend the world). The last example describes health control by alternative medicine, as a modern way of controlling future outcomes.


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