The cardigan has been thoroughly cleaned and bears no trace of its original owner, Professor Bruce Hood tells his audience as he invites them to put it on.Hood believes people are predisposed to superstition and irrational assumptions, such as associating personality traits with inanimate objects. All makes sense to me, but the question remains: would you wear that sweater? Why or why not? Discuss.
But most people quickly reverse their decision to wear the garment when he explains that its owner was the infamous serial killer Fred West.
The association with evil is enough to cause disgust - even though the cardigan itself is innocuous and is not really linked to the Gloucester murderer at all.
People's reactions in this small test illustrate, Professor Hood says, that even the apparently very rational among us give more credibility to superstitious intuition than they realise.
(Thanks to TR reader "liar" for suggesting this week's topic.)