Magic, Explanations, and Evil

  title={Magic, Explanations, and Evil},
  author={Manvir Singh},
  journal={Current Anthropology},
  pages={2 - 29}
In nearly every documented society, people believe that some misfortunes are caused by malicious group mates using magic or supernatural powers. Here I report cross-cultural patterns in these beliefs and propose a theory to explain them. Using the newly created Mystical Harm Survey, I show that several conceptions of malicious mystical practitioners, including sorcerers (who use learned spells), possessors of the evil eye (who transmit injury through their stares and words), and witches (who… Expand
2 Citations
Supernatural punishment beliefs as cognitively compelling tools of social control.
  • L. Fitouchi, Manvir Singh
  • Medicine
  • Current opinion in psychology
  • 2021
A model in which people strategically endorse supernatural punishment beliefs as intuitive tools of social control to manipulate others into cooperating is presented. Expand