Magic and the Mind: Mechanisms, Functions, and Development of Magical Thinking and Behavior Subbotsky, E. Oxford University Press, USA; 1 edition (March 31, 2010)
It’s a ground-breaking scientific study that explores the nature of the human mind’s innate need for magical belief. It distinguishes Institutional Magical Belief (IMB) such as organized religions, from Noninstitutional Magical Belief (NIMB) such as wicca, new agers, etc. And it traces how magical belief manifests itself naturally in childhood, is discouraged to a degree at adolescence and then is often manifest in various covert forms in adulthood. It also correlates media/societal manipulation of the masses through magical belief triggers inherent in human psychology, etc. A slim volume packed with interesting and useful data.