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The laws of sympathetic magic: A psychological analysis of similarity and contagion

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... Authentic objects can also be appreciated, because their history is thought to have 'rubbed off' onto the object. This is known as the law of contagion, a form of magical thinking where people hold that things that have once been in contact remain in contact indefinitely (Rozin & Nemeroff, 1990). Magical does not imply irrational. ...
... We therefore propose that participants were under the impression some of the history 'rubbed off' onto the object. In other words, they acted in accordance with the principle of contagion, by which things that have once been in contact remain in contact indefinitely (Rozin & Nemeroff, 1990). Justifications also confirmed the two hallmarks of contagion: dose insensitivity and route insensitivity. ...
... A minority of our participants mentioned the relevance of study for fossils. By focusing on the fossils' use, instead of their history, the effects of contagion on object appreciation might be attenuated by means of framing (Rozin & Nemeroff, 1990). Future research could address how the four mechanisms we reported on here play out for scientfic instruments. ...
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Authenticity is often supposed to play an important role in natural history museums. Yet we know very little about how it affects the perception and appreciation of museum objects. In the present study, we examined children’s perceptions of real fossils and replicas. We explored four potential explanations underlying the appreciation of authentic objects: physical appearances, ideational motivations (i.e. authentic objects are simply ‘better’), associations and contagion (the belief that some quality or aspect of the object's history still inheres in the object). Seventy two children of 8–12 years old visiting a Dutch natural history museum were asked to rate the museum-worthiness of two replicas and two real dinosaur fossils in two states (whole object vs a small fragment). Results suggest that, although appearances and associations do play a role, the appreciation of real fossils is rooted in the contagious belief that previous contact of the object (e.g. with a living dinosaur) continues to act on the object after the physical contact has been severed. Altogether, our findings provide evidence that children look beyond superficial appearances and place great value on non-obvious features such as object history.
... According to this principle contact with an object can affect the value of that object both positively and negatively, depending on the relationship to its contact source (contact model) . Magical Contagion is with Similarity and Opposition one of the laws of sympathetic magic Rozin & Nemeroff, 1990). Precisely, contagion results when a source, which could also be a person, place or thing, passes some of its properties to a target, which could also be a person, place or thing (Morales, Dahl, & Argo, 2018). ...
... This explains why shirts worn by disliked individuals cause discomfort, whereas shirts worn by liked individuals cause comfort (Rozin, Millman, & Nemeroff, 1986). The effects for negative contagion are more common and salient than for positive contagion (Rozin & Nemeroff, 1990). That is because people learn more rapidly and responds more strongly to negative events (Rozin, Millman, Nemeroff, 1986). ...
... That is because people learn more rapidly and responds more strongly to negative events (Rozin, Millman, Nemeroff, 1986). Furthermore, studies found evidence for the existence of both a forward action (essence passes from source to recipient) and backward action (essence is again transferred to the recipient, but in the backward case) Rozin & Nemeroff, 1990). ...
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Magical Contagion in the microbial domain means that harmfulness of germs depends on the nature of the relationship between source and recipient. The present study was inspired by Nemeroff (1995) in order to test whether the Magical Contagion principle is also applicable to the Corona Virus. A total of 138 participants were confronted with four scenarios describing contact with four sources that are infected with the Corona Virus (Sexy, Best Friend, Dislike, and Unsavory). Subjects estimated the Likelihood and Severity of getting ill on a 5-point scale. The results confirmed our first hypothesis. Paired sample t-tests revealed significant differences of Severity ratings for all sources, except for Sexy and Best Friend. Perceived Severity of Corona Virus was lower for positive (Sexy, Best Friend) and higher for negative (Dislike, Unsavory) sources. Our findings implicate under-concern about a Corona contamination risk from a best friend or sexually attractive person and over-concern about contact with a disliked or unsavory individual. However, we did not find evidence for our sub-hypothesis. Sexy and Best Friend sources showed similar Severity ratings. We conclude that both (sexually) attractive looks and an appealing personality let participants equally believe to get less severely infected. Nonetheless, Unsavory sources had the highest Severity ratings. The fact that Likelihood ratings mostly did not differ, indicates that Severity ratings involve a more emotional thinking process. Future studies should examine the effects of different sources and behavioral data.
... Much of what is known about people's belief in the literal persistence of history involves the study of contagion. The law of contagion is one of the laws of sympathetic magic that was first described by anthropologists (Frazer, 1890(Frazer, /1996Mauss, 1902Mauss, /1972Tylor, 1871Tylor, /1974 and was later studied experimentally by Rozin and colleagues (Nemeroff & Rozin, 1994;Rozin et al., 1989;Rozin & Nemeroff, 1990). Contagion beliefs are pervasive in cultures around the world and are often described by the adage "once in contact, always in contact." ...
... In numerous studies, children and adults judge objects that were once owned by a beloved celebrity (e.g., Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis's sunglasses) to have an enhanced worth, but judge objects once owned by a hated famous figure (e.g., Adolf Hitler's sweater) to have a decreased worth. It has been proposed that the value of these objects is driven by people's belief that an invisible essence (i.e., some property or properties) is transferred from a source (in this case, the celebrity) to a recipient (in this case, the object; Rozin & Nemeroff, 1990). ...
... The ontological status of the beliefs reviewed above is unclear. On one hand, they are often characterized as "magical" (Kramer & Block, 2014;Rozin & Nemeroff, 1990), "superstitious" (Savani et al., 2011), or "at odds with modern-day scientific thinking" (Meyer et al., 2013, p. 669). On the other hand, some authors suggest that scientific mechanisms may one day be discovered for at least some of these beliefs (e.g., a person's emotional experiences may result in chemical secretions that linger in a space; Savani et al., 2011). ...
Article
Scattered evidence in the literature suggests that people may believe that non-visible traces of past events (e.g., origins, emotions, and qualities of the owner) persist over time in objects and spaces, even after the original source has been removed. To date, however, there has been no unified treatment to determine the scope and cultural consistency of this expectation. This study had four primary goals: (a) to assess how broadly participants display persistence-of-history beliefs, (b) to explore individual differences in these beliefs, (c) to examine the explanatory frameworks for these beliefs, and (d) to determine whether these beliefs were endorsed across two cultural settings. Adults in both United States ( N = 195) and India ( N = 173) evaluated a broad range of situations involving possible persistence of history. In both countries, three patterns emerged: (a) A broad range of persistence-of-history scenarios were judged to be possible, falling into two underlying thematic clusters (supernatural vs. non-supernatural); (b) paranormal beliefs predicted endorsement of items in both thematic clusters; and yet (c) most scenarios were explained using natural explanatory frameworks. Together, these results demonstrate broad endorsement of the persistence of history—across cultures, situations, and individuals—as well as substantial individual variation.
... Pesquisas indicam que pessoas, ao tocarem produtos, tendem a impregná-lo com sua energia, podendo gerar desconforto para outros indivíduos que usarão o mesmo item posteriormente (Argo, Dals, & Morales, 2006;Krishna, 2011). Explicado por meio de uma lente teórica antropológica, este fenômeno versa sobre a percepção da contaminação dos itens usados pelo proprietário anterior, o que pode influenciar em seu valor (Rozin & Nemeroff, 1990;Siegal, Fadda, & Overton, 2011;Biswas & Roy, 2015). ...
... Pesquisas antropológicas que estudaram as crenças de culturas indígenas depararam-se com as 'Leis da Magia Simpática', conforme apontam Mauss e Hubert (2003/1902), e com a 'Lei do Contágio', proposta nos estudos de Meigs (1984). A 'Lei do Contágio' sugere que quando um sujeito-fonte toca um objeto-alvo, a fonte continuará a influenciar o alvo mesmo depois de parar de tocá-lo (Rozin & Nemeroff, 1990;Meigs, 1984;Yan et al., 2015). Este fenômeno é semelhante às 'Leis da Magia Simpática', pelas quais a fonte, magicamente, transfere algumas de suas propriedades para o alvo por meio do toque (Rozin & Nemeroff, 1994;Yan et al., 2015). ...
Article
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Objetivo: O objetivo deste trabalho foi confirmar a ocorrência do fenômeno da contaminação de um item pelo seu proprietário, em uma perspectiva antropológica. Também, buscou-se investigar a influência deste e de outros elementos, como a consciência no consumo e a renda, sobre a propensão do indivíduo à compra de produtos usados.Relevância: Apesar da popularidade da compra de usados por meio de plataformas virtuais e das consequências positivas para o bem estar do consumidor, as motivações que levam a este comportamento parecem pouco definidas. Outrossim, há barreiras relacionadas à aquisição destes itens que transcendem a racionalidade e lógica quanto ao comportamento de compra.Método: Foi realizada uma investigação quantitativa com survey eletrônico aplicado à amostra do tipo conveniência. Os dados coletados foram analisados por meio de testes estatísticos descritivos, correlacionais, análise fatorial exploratória, ANOVA de um fator etestes GLM (General Linear Model).Contribuições teóricas/metodológicas: As principais contribuições acadêmicas da pesquisa concernem a constatação da existência do fenômeno da contaminação e ao desenvolvimento de um instrumento para mensurar este construto.Resultados: Os resultados encontrados confirmam a existência do fenômeno da contaminação, em uma perspectiva antropológica, e a hipótese genérica de um consumidor maximizador de valor cuja atitude positiva para o consumo consciente não costuma resultar em comportamentos condizentes. No entanto, em desacordo com outras pesquisas, verificou-se que a predisposição à compra de produtos usados não está associada significativamente à renda.
... 16 Furthermore, existential proof for a psychological phenomenon in WEIRD samples can be especially compelling when such a finding is theoretically unexpected. For example, Rozin and Nemeroff (1990) found (surprisingly, to many) that even elite U.S. university students show some magical thinking. Nevertheless, even in such cases, learning about the extent to which population variability affects such phenomena is a necessary subsequent phase of the enterprise, since any theory of human behavior ultimately has to account for such variability (if it exists). ...
... We pointed both to Kahneman and Tverky's work on rationality (e.g., Gilovich et al. 2002) and to Rozin's work on magical thinking (Rozin & Nemeroff 1990) to highlight situations in which WEIRD samples are either suitable or ideal. However, if one's goal is ultimately to construct (rather than tactically falsify) theories of human behavior, it is hard to see how that could be done without expanding beyond WEIRD subjects. ...
... Theoretical foundations Classical philosophy Cognitive schemas Psychological essentialism Ancient Greeks Murphy and Smith (1982) Flavell et al. (1983) Rousseau Posner and Keele (1967 Gelman (2003) Kierkegaard (1983) Rosch , 1975) Medin and Ortony (1989) Heidegger (1962 Wittgenstein (1953) Rozin andNemeroff (1990) Sartre (1943) Impression management Institutional categories and genres Semiotics Goffman (1959) Becker (1982) Baudrillard (1983) Festinger (1957) DiMaggio (1987) Mick (1986) Snyder (1974) Hannan and Freeman (1977) Peirce (1940) Meyer and Rowan (1977) Current research themes Self-concept Category membership Provenance Cable et al. (2013) Carroll and Swaminathan (2000) Dutton (2003) Kernis and Goldman (2006) Fine ( scholars have speculated that the importance of one's true self emerged from life in this existential vacuum (Arnould & Price, 2000;Holt, 2002). Whereas past societies lived according to a set of shared values, such as religions or other traditions that guided individuals toward appropriate action and a meaningful life, individuals in modern societies with fewer commonly shared values have turned inward toward themselves in search of meaning. ...
... As such, individuals tend to psychologically represent nonvisible concepts through the process of contagion. Consider, for example, a sweater worn by Hitler or a faux-pearl necklace once belonging to Jaqueline Onassis (Rozin & Nemeroff, 1990). "One does not become Hitler by wearing his sweater; one does not become Jackie O. by wearing her pearls. ...
... This article will (1) briefly review key principles of contagion from prior work; (2) discuss ongoing and emerging conceptual questions related to contagion, focusing particularly on the role of physical contact and the nature of essence; and (3) echo Vyse's (2018) call for a "transformative consumer research" approach, offering discussion of potential applications of contagion in the public interest. CONTAGION IN THE 1980S AND 1990S At the end of the twentieth century, building on the work of Tylor (1871/1974), Frazer (1890/1922, and Mauss (1972Mauss ( / 1902, we hypothesized and documented a series of properties of contagion, based almost entirely on work with Americans, using surveys , interviews (Nemeroff and Rozin 1994), and hands-on experiments (Rozin, Nemeroff, and Millman 1986;Rozin et al. 1999; reviewed in Rozin and Nemeroff 1990;Nemeroff and Rozin 2000;Rozin and Nemeroff 2002). Our work on reactions to persons with AIDS illustrated most of these principles (Rozin, Nemeroff, and Markwith 1992;Nemeroff, Brinkman, and Woodward 1994;Rozin, Markwith, and McCauley 1994). ...
... This article will (1) briefly review key principles of contagion from prior work; (2) discuss ongoing and emerging conceptual questions related to contagion, focusing particularly on the role of physical contact and the nature of essence; and (3) echo Vyse's (2018) call for a "transformative consumer research" approach, offering discussion of potential applications of contagion in the public interest. CONTAGION IN THE 1980S AND 1990S At the end of the twentieth century, building on the work of Tylor (1871/1974), Frazer (1890/1922, and Mauss (1972Mauss ( / 1902, we hypothesized and documented a series of properties of contagion, based almost entirely on work with Americans, using surveys , interviews (Nemeroff and Rozin 1994), and hands-on experiments (Rozin, Nemeroff, and Millman 1986;Rozin et al. 1999; reviewed in Rozin and Nemeroff 1990;Nemeroff and Rozin 2000;Rozin and Nemeroff 2002). Our work on reactions to persons with AIDS illustrated most of these principles (Rozin, Nemeroff, and Markwith 1992;Nemeroff, Brinkman, and Woodward 1994;Rozin, Markwith, and McCauley 1994). ...
... Humans have developed a behavioral immune system that drives them to change their behavior in response to contamination cues suggesting the presence of pathogens (Curtis et al., 2011). Customers can hardly switch their contamination concerns off once activated (Rozin and Nemeroff, 1990), which is of critical concern for managers. Contamination concerns may influence customer experience (Klaus and Manthiou, in press) as well as customer perceptions and behavior such as seeking clean, familiar, or new products and services (Griskevicius and Kendrick, 2013). ...
... People get rid of worn, dirty (versus clean) money bills quicker as they are concerned about potential contamination from others (Di Muro and Noseworthy, 2013). Important to note, however, is that customers may create rules or frame information differently depending on the situation (Rozin and Nemeroff, 1990). Customers would be less likely to exhibit negative contagion beliefs in certain contexts, even when specific contamination cues are salient. ...
Article
Purpose – Customers might become concerned about getting contaminated and adapt their behavior accordingly, which is of critical concern for service managers. The purpose of this paper is threefold. First, this paper synthesizes the extant body of research within psychology and marketing into an integrative framework that helps understand the current state of knowledge on contamination. Second, this review summarizes evidence-based managerial recommendations on how to deal with customers’ contamination concerns. Third, this paper provides guidance for future research by proposing several ways in which those concerns might influence service management. Design/methodology/approach – This paper conducts an integrative literature review of over 30 years of psychology and marketing research on contamination concerns. Findings – The paper reviews physical and metaphysical contagion models, the situational cues that may activate customers’ contamination concerns, the psychological mechanisms that underlie the relationship between contamination and customer outcomes and the individual characteristics that influence customer sensitivity to contamination cues. Moreover, this review identifies actions that service managers can take to prevent customers’ contamination concerns. Finally, still much has to be learned about how organizations should deal with fear of contamination by the time a next pandemic breaks out. Originality/value – This paper develops an integrative framework that serves as a structured knowledge map onto the contamination phenomenon and paves the way for future service research.
... In general, our findings indicate that psychological essentialism (Hood et al., 2011;Meyer et al., 2013;Rozin & Nemeroff, 1990;Rozin et al., 1989;Sanner, 2001) may make suicide a special case among common organ donation sources. Specifically, people who believe that the donor's psychological essence gets transferred during organ donation are more averse to the organs donated by victims of suicide. ...
... Because suicide is widely considered an immoral act (Bering, 2018), a plausible explanation for the organ tainting effect of suicide is its negative moral implications. The suicide victim may be judged as immoral and the associated moral contagion fears, a particularly salient dimension of psychological essentialism (Rozin & Nemeroff, 1990), may be a causal factor behind the aversion to suicide organs. However, future research will need to disentangle general psychological essentialism fears from specific moral contagion concerns. ...
... Demonstrating the perfection premium in interpersonal evaluations is particularly valuable because it helps rule out the alternative explanations of physical contamination (Rozin & Nemeroff, 1990) and certainty (Kahneman & Tversky, 1979). According to a physical contamination account, adding any amount of a nonnatural entity destroys perceptions of an item's naturalness. ...
Article
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This research documents a perfection premium in evaluative judgments wherein individuals disproportionately reward perfection on an attribute compared to near-perfect values on the same attribute. For example, individuals consider a student who earns a perfect score of 36 on the American College Test (ACT) to be more intelligent than a student who earns a near-perfect 35, and this difference in perceived intelligence is significantly greater than the difference between students whose scores are 35 versus 34. The authors also show that the perfection premium occurs because people spontaneously place perfect items into a separate mental category than other items. As a result of this categorization process, the perceived evaluative distance between perfect and near-perfect items is exaggerated. Four experiments provide evidence in favor of the perfection premium and support for the proposed underlying mechanism, in both social cognition and decision making contexts.
... This observation is particularly true in the field of food, in which countries considered as being culturally close (European Union) show pronounced differences in their diet habits and practice (Askegaard and Madsen, 1995;). Many authors have shown experimentally the extent to which individuals' eating habits and preferences are constructed from birth through to adulthood (Fischler, 1990;Rozin, 1990) under the influence of the different social groups to which they are exposed: familly, school, clubs, groups of friends and others..Food choices are also choices of identity, and are therefore markers of these cultural differences (Askegaard and Madsen, 1995;Rozin et al., 1999, Trompenaars andHampden Turner, 2007), which no doubt explains the considerable inertia of diet models and continuing cultural differences In food preferences. ...
Book
Les recherches dont l’objectif est de comparer les comportements de consommateurs dans des contextes culturels différents sont confrontées à des difficultés d’ordre conceptuel et méthodologique. Les auteurs engagent une réflexion sur ces deux points et proposent une méthode de traitement de données (la méthode Max Diff), appliquée à une enquête par questionnaire auprès de consommateurs Australiens (n=283), Britanniques (n=304) et Français (n=147), placés dans une situation de choix de vin au restaurant. Les résultats indiquent que les différences entre ces trois pays, mais surtout entre le groupe des Français et les deux autres, sont bien marqués, confortant empiriquement l’idée que la notion de « pays » constitue une unité culturelle d’observation légitime.
... Rozin et al. [69,70] have developed a compilation of insightful works that demonstrate, repeatedly, how, and why we analytically differ in what we define as 'masculine' and what we define as 'feminine' in different cultures. Zellner et al. [71] report cultural differences in the craving for chocolate, a food traditionally associated with women. ...
Article
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Important scientific works have demonstrated that our sex and our gender affect the way we approach objects and situations. Although this is a long-established discussion in the field of social sciences, it seems that discussion about the relationship between sex, gender and food is still sometimes neglected in our daily lives, including empirical work involving food and consumer perceptions. Thus, the main objective of the present review is to provide a recent overview of the advances of sex and gender-related stereotypes in food studies, and to provide an indication of what the direction research might go in the future.
... The probability [38,39] and previous happenings [40] represents different factors that affect customers to read cessation dates. The knowledge and prediction about the self time of fruits is gaining importance in agricultural business [41][42][43][44]. Sensory assessment plays major role to determine shelf life of different fruits. ...
Article
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Security and safety of fresh produce has become global issue so the protection of fruits and vegetables should be the primary focus for agricultural industry. Shelf time of fresh produce can be influenced by many pre-harvest and post-harvest factors which should be controlled. Different post-harvest treatments such as physical, chemical and gaseous have been discussed here to maintain high safety standards of fresh produce. To overcome mishandlings by previously reported conventional methods, nanotechnology has emerged as a promising tool in the food processing industry, providing new insights about post-harvest technologies to overcome losses. This study also reveals that managing pre-harvest and post-harvest factors will lessen the deprivation of post-harvest standard features in fruits. Effect of silver nanoparticles on shelf life of fruits has been studied which indicates that shelf life of fruits increases when treated with nanomaterials as compared to chemical and other physical treatment which are used to reduce post-harvest losses.
... Ces aversions alimentaires peuvent également être « psychologiques » ; on parle alors plutôt de dégoût alimentaire, comme c'est le cas par exemple pour la consommation d'insectes dans la plupart des pays occidentaux [27,28]. ...
Book
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Rapport du groupe Plan National Nutrition Sante sur la qualité gustative des aliments et environnement des repas : restauration scolaire, hospitalière et aide alimentaire Pour reprendre les propos de Jacques Puisais, « avaler sans goûter n’est que ruine du palais ». Il est en effet important de donner du sens à notre alimentation. On ne mange pas seulement pour se nourrir, pour ingérer des calories et des nutriments mais aussi pour se réunir et se faire plaisir. Cette convivialité trouve sa source dans le temps passé à faire la cuisine, dans la connaissance des produits que l'on va mettre sur la table, dans le plaisir de nourrir sa famille et ses proches. C'est pourquoi les aspects culturels et patrimoniaux sont importants de même que le lien qui doit être fait entre agriculture, produits issus des savoir-faire des hommes qui façonnent les produits et l'alimentation. Se faire plaisir, c'est aussi prendre le temps de manger, de donner de la valeur à son alimentation, savoir choisir des produits qui ont du sens (issus de terroirs auxquels on est attaché) et qui ont du goût. Les sociologues le disent fréquemment : nous mangeons des symboles, notre alimentation donne une place au consommateur dans la société lorsque ses choix reposent notamment sur l'image qu'il a de lui-même et sur des considérations qui peuvent être d'ordre éthique, citoyenne ou religieuse. C'est pourquoi la notion de goût ne peut être circonscrite aux qualités organoleptiques de l'aliment mais doit être considérée dans un cercle plus large qui englobe non seulement l'environnement immédiat du consommateur mais aussi son environnement passé.
... The concept of moral vitalism [17] draws on previous work documenting theories of vital forces, energies, power, 'soulstuff' or spirits in many traditional belief systems [18][19][20][21], in early scientific and psychological theorizing [22,23], in children's understanding of biology [11,24], in adult thinking about natural and psychological events [9,25] and in reasoning about interpersonal contagion or transmission [26][27][28][29]. A belief in moral vitalism has been associated with concerns that people are vulnerable to possession (infection) by evil forces, and that these forces are interpersonally contagious (transmission; [17]). ...
Article
Pathogens represent a significant threat to human health leading to the emergence of strategies designed to help manage their negative impact. We examined how spiritual beliefs developed to explain and predict the devastating effects of pathogens and spread of infectious disease. Analysis of existing data in studies 1 and 2 suggests that moral vitalism (beliefs about spiritual forces of evil) is higher in geographical regions characterized by historical higher levels of pathogens. Furthermore, drawing on a sample of 3140 participants from 28 countries in study 3, we found that historical higher levels of pathogens were associated with stronger endorsement of moral vitalistic beliefs. Furthermore, endorsement of moral vitalistic beliefs statistically mediated the previously reported relationship between pathogen prevalence and conservative ideologies, suggesting these beliefs reinforce behavioural strategies which function to prevent infection. We conclude that moral vitalism may be adaptive: by emphasizing concerns over contagion, it provided an explanatory model that enabled human groups to reduce rates of contagious disease.
... Contamination disgust is identified as a specific category in Olatunji et al.'s (2008) revised scheme. Contamination occurs when there has been contact between a neutral item (e.g., a shoe) and a disgust-inducing elicitor (e.g., feces), rendering the contaminated object disgusting (Rozin & Nemeroff, 1990). To some theorists, contamination is of special significance, with Rozin and Fallon (1987) claiming that the separation between the category of distaste and the other categories of disgust is dependent on the presence of contamination with the latter but not with the former. ...
Article
The functional basis of disgust in disease avoidance is widely accepted; however, there is disagreement over what disgust is. This is a significant problem, as basic questions about disgust require knowing if single/multiple forms/processes exist. We address this issue with a new model with one form of disgust generated by multiple processes: (a) pure disgust experienced during gastrointestinal illness; (b) somatosensory disgust elicited by specific cues that activate the pure disgust state; (c) anticipatory disgust elicited by associations between distance cues for somatosensory disgust and requiring threat evaluation; (d) simulated disgusts elicited by imagining somatosensory and anticipatory disgust and frequently involving other emotions. Different contamination processes interlink (a–d). The implications of our model for fundamental questions about disgust (e.g., emotion status; continuation into animals) are examined.
... 18 I am not saying that apparently 'religious' people in Africa are necessarily 'evil', but simply that they may not be good, or as 'good' as many Westerners might assume. 19 See for example Rozin and Nemeroff, (1990) who clearly demonstrate ongoing belief in the West in sympathetic magic. 20 I here use the one term 'God' (god) to describe many different things, thus in this article remaining subject to the confusion that I am pointing to. ...
Article
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When the only advice on offer is unhelpful, a potential missionary might need to be advised to seek an alternative. Jesus, we take it, was not building a worldly empire (John 18:36). Christian mission has become associated with colonialism. Dominant advice often pushes Western missionaries to positions of strength. In order to be vulnerable, one needs an alternative to such advice. Economic domination of Africa by the West makes it hard to know when Africa’s people, long engrossed in patron/client relationships, are not talking for power. Use of English to describe Africa leads to massive false imputing of Western histories onto African societies. A little linguistic wisdom exposes the naivety of many contemporary understandings of the acumen of translation.
... As such, individuals tend to psychologically represent nonvisible concepts through the process of contagion. Consider, for example, a sweater worn by Hitler or a 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 faux-pearl necklace once belonging to Jaqueline Onassis (Rozin & Nemeroff, 1990). "One does not become Hitler by wearing his sweater; one does not become Jackie O. by wearing her pearls. ...
Article
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The concept of authenticity informs a number of central topics in management studies. On the surface, it might seem that a consensus exists about its meaning; there is indeed widespread agreement that authenticity refers to that which is “real” or “genuine” or “true.” Below the surface, however, there is much less agreement; scholars use the same lexical term but often approach the concept from different perspectives and apply different meanings. This review outlines three fundamental but distinct perspectives found in the literature: authenticity as (1) consistency between an entity’s internal values and its external expressions, (2) conformity of an entity to the norms of its social category, and (3) connection between an entity and a person, place, or time as claimed. The aim of this review was to critically appraise the various research themes within each perspective, highlighting similarities, differences, and relationships between them. In doing so, this review represents an initial step toward an integrated framework of authenticity, which provides new insights into our understanding of the existing literature and a useful guide for future research.
... Frazer's work is appreciated for its systematic classification of magical thoughts and practices in different cultures with reference to sympathetic magic based on the law of similarity and the law of contract. Paul Rozin (Rozin et al. 1986;Rozin and Nemeroff 1990;Rozin et al. 1992) maintained that the principles of sympathetic magic are not only characteristics of primitive beliefs and rituals but also operative in modern Western culture. They provided examples, such as the belief that a drink briefly in contact with a sterilised dead cockroach is undesirable, or a laundered shirt worn by a disliked person becomes less desirable than a shirt previously worn by a favoured person. ...
Article
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Consulting religion and magic for healing is an important aspect of healing belief practices. Magical thinking provides space for culturally cognitive patterns to integrate belief practices. Tona, a layman’s approach to healing that describes magico-religious (fusion of magic and religion) and secular magic practices in rural Punjab, Pakistan, is an example of magico-religious and secular magical practice. The purpose of this study is to analyse tona as it is practiced to cure childhood diseases (sokra and sharwa) in Muslim Punjab, Pakistan. This is an ethnographic study I conducted using participant observation and unstructured interviews as the primary research methods. The study produced an in-depth analysis of tona as a healing belief practice in the light of Frazer’s principles of magical thinking and sympathetic magic. The study provides a deeper understanding of the magical thinking in magico-religious healing belief practices.
... According to Rozin & Nemeroff (1990), the properties of contagion are as follows: First, the contaminant must physically contact the target entity. Second, contagion is dose insensitive; even brief contact with the contaminated object is sufficient to produce a strong negative response and this does not increase much with higher doses. ...
Article
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The phenomenon of magical contagion – the unobserved passage of properties between entities that come into physical contact – was described by anthropologists over a century ago, yet questions remain about its origin, function, and universality. Contagion sensitivity, along with the emotion of disgust, has been proposed to be part of a biologically-evolved system designed to reduce exposure to pathogens by increasing the avoidance of “contaminated” objects. Yet this phenomenon has not been studied using systematic psychological comparison outside of industrialized populations. Here we document contagion sensitivity in two culturally, geographically, and economically distinct populations with little exposure to Western biomedicine and formal education: the Hadza hunter-gatherers of Tanzania and Tannese subsistence-agriculturalists of Vanuatu. In both populations, a majority of individuals rejected familiar and palatable foods when contaminating items touched the food but were subsequently removed. The Tannese children in our study showed a similar response, consistent with previous research with Western children. Our data support the proposal that contagion sensitivity is universal in human populations.
... Odpor vo vzťahu k potrave predstavuje mimoriadne silnú emóciu, rovnako ako sú potravinové tabu mimoriadne prísne. Rozin a Nemeroffová (Rozin, Nemeroff, 1990) rozlišujú "smerujúci dopredu" (forward) a "spätný" (backward) škodlivý vplyv. V prvom prípade sa esencia prenáša zo zdroja na prijímateľa -priamo alebo nepriamo prostredníctvom média; 18 v druhom prípade je situácia obrátená -esencia sa musí dostať k prijímateľovi -do tejto skupiny patria tie prípady, keď ten, kto chce uškodiť, získa niečo z obetevlasy, nechty, kus odevua manipuluje s nimi s cieľom vplývania na toho, komu patria. ...
... In addition, objects can become special or sacred by virtue of what or whom they have been in contact with (i.e., the law of contagion). These two laws are components of what is known as sympathetic magic (see Rozin and Nemeroff 1990). Early anthropologists identified such forms of reasoning in non-Western cultures, but suggested that they were universal. ...
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There is evidence that superstitious beliefs are different across cultures. Yet, very little attention has been allocated to psychological research on culture-specific superstitions, particularly in non-Western societies. The present study examined magical thinking and superstitious beliefs in Iran, developing a culture-specific measure named Iranian Superstitious Beliefs Questionnaire (ISBQ). Following a comprehensive study on folklore superstitions in Iran, we developed a 10-item measure. Women scored higher than men in all items, but the magnitude of the gender effect was small to moderate. Exploratory factor analysis suggested that two factors can be extracted: magical thinking (5 items) and superstitious beliefs (5 items). These two factors were moderately correlated (r = 0.35, p < 0.01). Reliability and convergent validity of the ISBQ were shown to be satisfactory. Therefore, the 10-item ISBQ can be used as a valid and reliable measure of Iranian superstitious beliefs.
... Esta investigadora defende que este pode existir em duas situações segundo a "lei do contágio" entre consumidores ou entre produtos. A lei do contágio assenta na ideia de que quando uma pessoa ou um objeto (designado de fonte de fonte de contágio) toca numa outra pessoa ou num objeto (o alvo), a fonte continuará a influenciar o alvo mesmo após o final do contacto (Rozin & Nemeroff, 1990). A fonte transfere desta forma toda ou parte das suas características para o alvo. ...
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Introduction: Touch is still the sense less studied in sensory marketing. The difficulties of verbalization of tactile sensations explicitly constitute the first barrier. However, the mechanisms of influence of the touch continue to arouse the curiosity of many researchers. These studies mostly rely on experimental protocols to test the various effects produced by touch and identify what benefits this point in commercial contexts. Objectives: Investigate the sense of touch within the scope of sensory marketing and marketing services. Methods: Review of the literature on the subject, in order to better understand the importance of touch in marketing. It was defined what is the sense of touch and the two types of tactile contacts: interaction of the touch with the products and the touch between individuals. Results: The possibility and the freedom to touch the exposed products are the key to the commercial success of many points of sale, trying to satisfy the diverse touch needs of the individual. Conclusions: Without disregarding the limitations and less positive or even embarrassing effects of touch, this article aims to provide the basis for future research.
... Antropologlar tarafından geliştirilmiş bir teori olan bulaşma gücü bir tarafta etkileyen yani kaynağın, diğer tarafta etkilenen yani alıcının olduğu ve kaynağın alıcıyı etkilediği bir alışveriş durumudur. 17 Burada kaynağın kendi özünü dokunma aracılığı ile alıcıya transfer ettiği düşünülmektedir. 18 Burada öz, manevi bir değer taşımaktadır ve iletişimin kesilmesinden sonra bile alıcıda özün bir parçası kalmaktadır. ...
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... As a result, individuals may transmit negative impressions of the source threats, such as harmful, infectious, and intrusive to the SARS-CoV-2 and hence perceive high levels of fear and disgust. 10 Furthermore, the presence of obnoxious colors and visual patterns can heighten the potential emotional effects of metaphoric meanings. ...
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Background and aims: Before COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and many other organizations published many images of its pathogen (namely SARS-CoV-2) to raise public awareness of the disease. Despite their scientific and aesthetic values, such images may convey metaphoric meanings and cause a subsequent impact on viewers' fear and disgust. This study investigated how exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 images might shape viewers' fear, disgust, and risk perception of COVID-19. Methods: Seventy images depicting the SARS-CoV-2 were collected from the websites of CDC, NIAID, and third-party organizations in early 2020. We first showed the images to a group of 492 adults recruited from the Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) and asked them to rate their levels of fear and disgust for each image. Results of this pre-test allowed us to identify images that evoked high, medium, and low levels of fear and disgust, which were then used as treatment stimuli for an online experiment with a national sample of 500 U.S. adults. Results: Exposure to the selected SARS-CoV-2 images caused different levels of disgust, but not fear, among the members of the national sample. Noticeably, the images evoking the highest level of disgust backfired among those who were least concerned about COVID and caused less fear than images evoking the lowest level of disgust. Image exposure was not associated with risk perception of the disease. Conclusion: This study found that the seemingly objective visualizations of the SARS-CoV-2 are not emotionally neutral. Scientists, agencies, and media professionals should be mindful of the potential emotional impact of science visualizations, such as when creating the iconic image for COVID-19 or other infectious diseases.
... However, since thoughts about disgusting things also obey the law of similarity (e.g. Rozin & Nemeroff, 1990), evidence for an explanation of maternal impressions beliefs based on similarity is also ipso facto evidence for a disgustbased explanation. As such, maternal impression beliefs may in fact be overdetermined: they may arise from both the similarity and contagion functions that disgust operates according to. ...
Article
In this article, an account of the architecture of the cognitive contamination system is offered, according to which the contamination system can generate contamination representations in circumstances that do not satisfy the norms of contamination, including in cases of mere visual contact with disgusting objects. It is argued that this architecture is important for explaining the content, logic, distribution, and persistence of maternal impression beliefs – according to which fetal defects are caused by the pregnant mother’s experiences and actions – which in turn provide important evidence of the architecture of the cognitive contamination system.
... Similarly to the literature in other cultural contexts (Siegrist et al., 2015;Chammas et al., 2019), functional foods are consumed for their health benefits, such as diet, well-being and disease prevention. However, our research reveals that functional foods are not only consumed for rational and scientific health motives; their constructions were deeply embedded in the anthropological and cultural Tunisian context and were shaped by social representations and magical thinking (Frazer, 1911;Rozin and Nemeroff, 1990). ...
Article
Purpose This paper aims to explore the socio-cultural meanings of functional foods for Tunisian consumers and to understand how these meanings shape their preferences and practices in the particular context of a Middle-East and North African (MENA) region. Design/methodology/approach A constructivist perspective based on multi-qualitative methods was designed allowing data collection in a natural setting through focus groups interviews, individual in-depth interviews and projective techniques among Tunisian consumers. Findings Findings show the complexity and importance of conscious and unconscious non-health-related socio-cultural factors in the construction and acceptance of functional foods by the Tunisian consumer. Common sense knowledge, social environment and tradition shape the constructions and practices of functional foods. These factors may act as a shortcut to compensate for unhealthy behaviour and as a social marker to reflect trendiness and identity. Research limitations/implications The findings are specific to the Tunisian setting and may be not transferable to other settings. Practical implications The role of information is central in functional food acceptance. Communication on health effects should consider not only the formal nutritional health benefit but also lay knowledge. Social implications The findings of this research contribute in the government’s understanding of Tunisian’s constructions of health and well-being by suggesting that besides health motives, non-health-related factors such as lay knowledge, social influences and conspicuous consumption play an important role in functional foods choice. Originality/value This paper contributes to extend functional foods literature by exploring the complex interconnected conscious and unconscious socio-cultural constructions behind functional food choice. It contributes also to the understanding of the food consumer behaviour in the specific cultural context of the Arab-Muslim MENA region, an under investigated setting.
... This system is key to localising disgust to a particular place on the body surface, with certain locations more likely to evoke disgust (e.g., mouth) than others (e.g., foot; Rozin et al., 1995). Touch also plays a central role in contamination, the process by which a neutral object is rendered disgusting by virtue of having been in contact with a disgust elicitor (Rozin & Nemeroff, 1990). The texture and temperature of objects can cue individuals to the presence of disease (Oum et al., 2011). ...
Article
Several studies have examined if disgust can be evoked by contacting an object – yet none have examined if reported disgust changes when the hand leaves the object. This is surprising given that post-contact tactile disgust is probably a driver of hand hygiene. We examined contact and post-contact tactile disgust and its sensory origins. Participants were asked to touch several objects, making sensory, disgust, and desire-to-handwash evaluations. These ratings were made at three stages-of-contact – object-contact (just touch), post-contact (just touch), and visual post-contact (touch, vision). Disgust was typically highest at postcontact (when the hand left the object). Stickiness and wetness were uniquely predictive of object-contact disgust. Only stickiness drove post-contact disgust, and only wetness visual post-contact disgust. Hand-washing desire was primarily driven by quantity of residue perceived on the hand. These findings suggest that tactile disgust is a multisensory and iterative process relating to object- and residue-adhesiveness.
... Cognitive scientists have made much progress in explaining the recurring features of divination and magic in general. For example, Legare and Souza (2012) experimentally show that ritual procedures involving more steps and specific times are regarded as more efficacious; Nemeroff and Rozin (2010;Rozin and Nemeroff, 1986;Rozin et al., 1990) argue that people's susceptibility to contagious magic may confer adaptive benefits because the disgust reaction toward unclean items may contribute to pathogen avoidance; Singh (2017) suggests that specific aspects of shamanism, such as their inhumanness (being unlike ordinary humans in appearance and behavior), culturally evolved as a result of selective retention processes; Boyer (2020) proposes "ostensive detachment" as a feature of divination protocols that makes them appear relatively more credible. In sum, this line of work has successfully attributed many recurring features (e.g., repetition, redundancy, presence of supernatural agents) of technological practices to our evolved causal intuitions regarding what constitutes effective practices. ...
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Although a substantial literature in anthropology and comparative religion explores divination across diverse societies and back into history, little research has integrated the older ethnographic and historical work with recent insights on human learning, cultural transmission, and cognitive science. Here we present evidence showing that divination practices are often best viewed as an epistemic technology, and we formally model the scenarios under which individuals may overestimate the efficacy of divination that contribute to its cultural omnipresence and historical persistence. We found that strong prior belief, underreporting of negative evidence, and misinferring belief from behavior can all contribute to biased and inaccurate beliefs about the effectiveness of epistemic technologies. We finally suggest how scientific epistemology, as it emerged in Western societies over the past few centuries, has influenced the importance and cultural centrality of divination practices.
... Faraji-Rad and Pham (2017) showed that induced disgust led to reduced willingness-to-pay for a carton of fruit drink (compared to a control condition), if participants had been primed with themes of uncertainty. Driven by the law of contagion (i.e., once in contact, always in contact) (Rozin and Nemeroff 1990), Argo et al. (2006) tested the effect of three tactile contamination cues (proximity to contact, time elapsed since contact, and number of contacts) on product evaluations and purchase intentions of a target t-shirt in a university bookstore. Participants received a cover story that involved having them try on the t-shirt before rating it. ...
... First described by anthropologists around the turn of the 20 th century -initially by Edwin Tylor (1871) and later developed by James Frazer (1890) and Marcel Mauss (1902) -the law of contagion can be summarized as: once in contact, always in contact. Rozin and Nemeroff (1990) cite the Scottish anthropologist James Frazer (Frazer, 1890) who attributed belief in contagion as a world-wide phenomenon to account for a wide variety of magical practices and beliefs in traditional cultures. According to Frazer (1890), "things which have once been in contact with each other continue to act on each other at a distance after the physical contact has been severed" (p. ...
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In many places commemorative plaques are erected on buildings to serve as historical markers of notable men and women who lived in them – London has a Blue Plaque scheme for this purpose. We investigated the influence of commemorative Blue Plaques on the selling prices of London real estate. We identified properties which sold both before and after a Blue Plaque was installed indexing prices relative to the median prevailing sales prices of properties sold in the same neighborhood. Relative prices increased by 27% (US$165,000 as of July 2020) after a Blue Plaque was installed but not in a control set of properties without Blue Plaques, sold both before and after a Blue Plaque was installed in close proximity. We discuss these findings in relation to the theory of magical contagion and claims from previous research suggesting that people are less likely to acknowledge magical effects when decisions involve money.
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The second edition of this popular textbook encapsulates the excitement of the fascinating and fast-moving field of social psychology. A comprehensive and lively guide, it covers general principles, classic studies and cutting-edge research. Innovative features such as 'student projects' and 'exploring further' exercises place the student experience at the heart of this book. This blend of approaches, from critical appraisal of important studies to real-world examples, will help students to develop a solid understanding of social psychology and the confidence to apply their knowledge in assignments and exams.
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Pamiris, or Badakhshanis in popular discourse, form a small group of Iranic peoples who inhabit the mountainous region of Pamir-Hindu Kush, being the historical region of Badakhshan. Pamiri communities are located in the territories of four current nation-states: Tajikistan, Afghanistan, China and Pakistan. This book provides insights in the identity process of a group of mountain communities whose vigorous cultures, languages and complex political history have continued to shape a strategic part of the world. Its various chapters capture what being a Pamiri may entail and critically explore the impact of both trans-regionalism and the globalisation processes on activating, engaging and linking the dispersed communities. The book presents a variety of lines of argument pertaining to Pamiri identity and identification processes. Structured in three parts, the book first addresses themes relevant to the region's geography and the recent history of Pamiri communities. The second section critically explores the rich philosophical, religious and cultural Pamiri heritage through the writings of prominent historical figures. The final section addresses issues pertaining to the contemporary diffusion of traditions, peace-building, interconnectivity and what it means to be a Pamiri for the youth of the region. Contributions by experts in their field offer fresh insights into the Ismaili communities in the region while successfully updating the historical and ethnographic legacy of Soviet times with present-day scholarship. As the first collection of scholarly contributions in English entirely focusing on the Pamiri people, this book will be of interest to academics in the fields of the history, anthropology, religious studies, sociology, linguistics, education and geography of Central Asia and/or East Asia as well as of Islam, Islamic thought, minority-majority relations, population movements and the processes of defining and affirming identity among minority groups. © 2019 Dagikhudo Dagiev and Carole Faucher. All rights reserved.
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Over 20 years have passed since magical contagion was first introduced to psychology; we discuss how psychological and consumer behavior findings since then have deepened our understanding of this phenomenon. Recent research has shed light on the psychological mechanisms that underlie consumers’ contamination concerns (e.g., the behavioral immune system, disgust), confirming that people’s germ-related intuitions affect a wide variety of consumer judgments in areas that are only indirectly linked to disease-related threats (used products, [un]]familiar products, products contacting each other). Moreover, recent findings have also documented the ways that nonphysical essences might transfer from people to objects (celebrity products; positive consumer contagion). This recent body of work extends contagion research by demonstrating that physical contact is not a prerequisite for essence transfer and that the types of essences that are contagious are broader than originally conceived. We close by discussing future research into how magical contagion affects consumer and firm decision making.
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Although consumers like to touch products while shopping, the authors propose a theory of consumer contamination, positing that consumers evaluate products previously touched by other shoppers less favorably. The authors test the theory by manipulating cues that increase the salience that consumer contact has occurred. Furthermore, the authors investigate the role of disgust as the underlying mechanism of the theory.
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Why did people across the world and throughout history believe that dreams can foretell what will occur in the future? In this paper, I attempt to answer this question within a cultural evolutionary framework by emphasizing the cognitive aspect of dream interpretation; namely, the fact that dreams were often viewed as significant and interpretable has to do with various psychological and social factors that influence how people obtain and process information regarding the validity of dream interpretation as a technique. Through a comprehensive analysis of a large dataset of dream occurrences in the official Chinese historical records, I argue that the ubiquity and persistence of dream interpretation have both a theoretical component (supernatural worldview) and an empirical component (predictively accurate dream cases) which is particularly vulnerable to transmission errors and biases. The overwhelmingly successful records of dream prediction in transmitted texts, I suggest, is largely due to the fabrication and retrospective inference of past dreams, as well as the under-reporting of predictive failures. These "positive data" then reinforce individuals' confidence in the predictive power of dreams. I finally show a potential decline of the popularity of dream interpretation in traditional China and offer a few suggestive explanations drawing on the unique characteristics of oneiromancy compared to other divination techniques.
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Chapter
Mastering the physical world has traditionally been associated with magic, whereas securing meaning or salvation has generally been associated with religion, or with mysticism. In actuality, it is impossible to deal with one realm without the other — either because the one can only be understood as the rejection of the other or, more frequently, because their roots are the same. In actual usage the “mystical” and the “magical” tend to be linked. Both get pitted against institutionalized, conventional religion, and both involve access to supernatural power. For example, one finds the coexistence of the mystical with the magical in the Neoplatonic techniques used to make contact with the gods, techniques known as theurgy. The linkage is also found in Buddhism, in such canonical Mahayana texts as the Śūrangamasamādhisūtra, Vimalakīrtinirdeśa, and Mahāprajñāpāramitāśātstra, all of which deal ultimately with the achievement of enlightenment. In the first, we find references to rddhibala, the extraordinary power of the Buddha. In the second, it is said that through his miraculous power a bodhisattva can introduce Mt. Sumeru into a grain of mustard and the water of the four oceans into a single pore of his own skin. In the third, we find an elaborate description of the five super‐knowledges, which include three kinds of rddhi. In Tantric Buddhism it is even more difficult to distinguish between mystical and magical pursuits. Thus in the Maājuśrimūlakalpa there are references to the vidyādhara, “those endowed with magical powers”.
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