What Beliefs Are Made From

Some Strange Shared Beliefs

Author(s): Jon Leicester

Pp: 5-13 (9)

DOI: 10.2174/9781681082639116010004

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


This chapter describes and comments on mistaken beliefs that are or have been orthodox or at least common in whole communities. So-called culture-bound psychoses are illustrated by shen-k'uei in Taiwanese culture and malgri among natives of Mornington Island. So-called epidemic hysteria is illustrated by an outbreak of witchcraft in Christian Europe, the epidemic of shell shock among allied soldiers in the First World War, and the epidemic of RSI in Australia from 1980 to 1986. Brief notes on myths, legends, rumours, and conspiracy theories complete the chapter.

Keywords: Belief, Conspiracy theories, Culture-bound psychoses, Epidemic hysteria.

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