*babydoll* asked in Social SciencePsychology · 1 decade ago

Can habitual wearing of makeup sometimes be classified as a superstitious act?

For example: A young lady hardly ever wears makeup, and is considered moderately attractive anyway. She knows it because she is told, but is modest, and not very confident in social situations. One day she puts on makeup and goes to a party and is hit on by about ten different nice, interesting guys. She doesn't chalk it up to her being nice and interesting, behaving sociably; she associates her success with the makeup. So next time she has to go someplace with lots of people she wants to know well, she makes sure to apply makeup the same way.

Is that superstitious thought as taught in psychology?

Another example would be what my teacher said, an athlete never washing her jersey because she thinks washing it will ruin her winning streak, and then she wins all the games and thinks it's from the jersey, not her hard work and team effort....


China Jon, thank you! I have trouble keeping terminology correct in my mind without good examples, so I come up with poor ones sometimes. I'm glad you corrected my impression.

2 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The answer will depend on the school of Psychology believed in by the answerer.

    Of your two examples, the second is more in line with superstition. It is not rational to believe that dirty clothing has the power to make you win. Superstition is not rational.

    The first is more in line with stimulus response training that is Pavlovian in nature. It is more rational than your second example, even if the girl herself ascribes it to the power of the makeup. The real behavior is motivated at a subconscious level though her conscious thoughts are about the association of makeup to success. Pavlov is the one who trained dogs to associate the ringing of a bell to food. Dogs don't believe that the bell creates the food. They just know that when the bell rings, the food is coming. Then, they salivate! So the girl knows that the makeup is associated with her success at parties. So she continues to put on makeup.

    ;-D Perhaps she salivates as well, I don't know! hahaha

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The wearing of make-up seems to have originated in ancient Egypt where it was considered to be important for prostitutes to attract customers. It sounds a bit superstitious to me.

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