Today's news of Amy Winehouse's death is tragic not only due to the fact that she had so much talent, but also because she was young, and her death was most likely brought on by her addictions.
Amy Winehouse was 27 years old when she died. There are also a number of other famous musicians who died at 27. Those musicians include:
Joplin, Hendrix, Morrison, and Jones all died within two years of each other.
Why does it seem that young musicians have died at 27? There is a "Forever 27 Club" listing on Wikipedia, and people have created websites about a "27 Curse".
Is this just coincidence? Or is there really a "27 Curse"?
There is a social psychology phenomenon known as causal attribution. This is when a person (or society) attributes outcomes to particular causes. When there is a tragic young death of a famous person, we tend to look for some reason why it happened, or in this case, why these deaths collectively happened. We try to make sense of it. And when we can't make sense of it, we find a way for it to make sense. So the "27 Curse" began.
Attributing causes helps give us order and predictability to our lives.
Causal attribution helps us feel better by giving predictability to an unpredictible world, but our attributions are not always completely accurate.
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