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13 June 2008

JSU Psychology Professor Gives Closer Look at Friday the 13th

By Alex Scarborough-Anderson
Special to The Star

Reprinted here in its entirety.

Friday the 13th

Don't worry, everything will be OK today.

Sure, it's Friday the 13th, and superstitions would suggest it's a special day. But when you take a closer look, it's not.

Movies, books and television shows have made millions of dollars capitalizing on the idea that Friday the 13th is somehow a cursed day.

Steven Dworkin, head of the psychology department at Jacksonville State University, scoffs at the so-called curse, calling it a "self-fulfilling prophecy."

We remember the 13th and expect something to happen that day, Dworkin says. If something does happen, we are more likely to remember and associate it with Friday the 13th.

"We make a correlation of things happening on the 13th," Dworkin said. "It goes along with the notion that strange things happen with a full moon. We don't want to test it, out of fear; so we believe it to be true without any proof."

Walking under a ladder, black cats, and breaking mirrors are all baseless superstitions drawn up by imagination to connect an event to a result, Dworkin says.

For those who choose to believe today is cursed, tomorrow you can breathe easy for the next eight months until Friday, Feb.13, 2009.

See story at The Anniston Star's website: .

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