Magical thinking refers to non-scientific beliefs and explanations that we make about the world around us. Some examples of magical thinking are superstitious beliefs, or believing that performing a certain ritual will directly bring about a specific outcome.
According to Developmental Psychologist Jean Piaget, children between the ages of 2 and 7 engage in magical thinking because they have not yet developed the ability to think logically. This means that they tend to attribute events that happen around them, as being caused by their own thoughts. For example, a parent gets sick because the child got angry and wished ill of the parent.
Magical thinking may also be a symptom of a mental disorder. For example, a patient who has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder believes that something bad will happen if he doesn't wash his hands ten times.