Prof Marc Wilson on the End of the World

Associate Professor Marc Wilson, from the Department of Psychology, Victoria University, talked to TVNZ’s Breakfast show about the Mayan calendar, doomsday theories and why some people truly believe the end is nigh.

Watch Prof Wilson on Breakfast here.

From the TVNZ website:

Belief in doomsday stems from distress – expert

Believing the end of the world is nigh is not as crazy as some may think, a psychology professor believes.

The latest Doomsday date is December 21, this year. Last year, according to elderly US preacher Harold Camping, the world was to come to an end on May 21.

Marc Wilson, Associate Professor of Psychology at Victoria University, said the reason people choose to believe in doomsday prophecies is because they hope there is a better alternative to the “bad stuff” they see everyday.

“We run the risk of characterising people as crazy if they believe these sorts of things but actually it makes sense to them,” he told TV ONE’s Breakfast.

“One of the ways you can deal with the distress that comes from seeing bad things happen is the belief that something good is going to happen at some point in the imminent future, after all of the bad stuff gets wiped away.”

Wilson adds that although the 2012 prophecy may seem significant, it is only because of the attention it has received in the media.

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