You might guess there wouldn’t be much psychological research on belief in fate, destiny, or purpose, but you’d be wrong. There is a surprisingly deep vein of studies on these topics in both children and adults. A recent poll found that 38 percent of Americans believe natural disasters are signs from God, but more abstract notions of fate, destiny, or purpose are also very common (cited in Banerjee and Bloom 2015). Humans appear to see fate in many places, and science is here to tell us why—or at least how.
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