Week 6A Lecture Notes - Folklore Lecture Notes Folk Belief1...

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11/07/05 Folklore Lecture Notes Folk Belief- 1) Used to describe spirits of the dead and other supernatural beings and their interaction with the living. 2) Ideas held to be true concerning luck or the causes of certain phenomenon. (Not the same superstition because superstition contains negative connotations) -Ex. Wearing certain clothes for winning streaks, or picking up a penny you find on the ground, beliefs about signs or omens (I.e. If a dog howls 3 times at the moon something will happen) -We forget the times it didn’t work, but remember the times it does work. Selectively reinforce our luck. -Even if someone doesn’t believe the folk belief they might still do it because they figure that “it can’t hurt.” Belief - Something that we accept to be true, it may or may not be factual. Some of these beliefs can be proven empirically but often cannot be proven in our own experiences such as a dream coming true. -Luck Belief requires a single condition and a single result. Sometimes it requires multiple conditions (Wearing the same shirt and using the same pen on a test). Sometimes it requires actions to avoid something negative (I.e. Shoes on a bed is bad luck, so don’t do it). Sometimes it’s about causes (Putting a knife under a bed before childbirth will cut the pain in half). -Conversion beliefs are about how to convert bad luck to good luck (Throwing salt over your shoulder after spilling it).
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