Good Luck Charms Really Do Work

by Puja Shah March 17, 2015

Four leaf clover

As people hold their four leaf clovers on St. Patrick’s Day and pocket their horseshoes before a major exam, the question arises: Do good luck charms really work?

According to a team of psychologists at the University of Cologne in Germany, well, yes.

In a series of experiments employing tasks involving memory and motor skills, the scientists studied the effect of behavior and “object superstitions”  which rely on good luck charms  in college students and published the results in the journal Psychological Science.

The first experiment looked at the influence of the concept of good luck in a test of putting a golf ball. Experimenters handed participants a ball, and those who were told the ball was lucky tended to outperform those who weren’t. 
In another experiment, participants were given a cube containing tiny balls and a slab with holes. The goal was to get as many balls in the holes as quickly as possible. Again, participants who were told, “I’ll cross my fingers for you,” by the experimenter performed better.

The final two experiments involved a lucky charm brought by each participant. In a memory test and an anagram test, the participants who were permitted to keep their lucky charms with them performed better.

To find out if superstitious beliefs were truly giving students an edge, the scientists surveyed them before the final two experiments to gauge their confidence levels. The participants who kept their good luck charms set higher goals for what they wanted to achieve on the tasks, and said they felt more confident in their abilities.


“Engaging in superstitious thoughts and behaviors may be one way to reach one’s top level of performance,” the researchers write in the journal article.

People around the world often become what is known as superstitious when faced with unknown and stressful situations but the researchers say engaging in a superstition could reduce tension related to a high-stakes competition or an exam. It could also mean carrying a good luck charm of some sort during these situations.

Historically, for example, the ancient Egyptians wore lucky charms or amulets as a protection against death and evil spirits. One of the oldest was the ‘eye’ of Horus, a sky god who took the shape of a falcon. His right eye represents a falcon’s, including the ‘teardrop’ sometimes seen below it. Horus was called on by his mother Isis to destroy her wicked brother Set, and lost his eye after a series of battles with Set. When the eye was restored it was believed to have special powers. The eye symbol was also known as a ‘wadjet’, a deity with links to the Sun. Representations of the eye were made of precious metal and endowed its wearer with the strength of the life-giving Sun. Babies, and even valuable livestock, were given amulets for protection. Today’s christening gifts are a remnant of this practice.

Superstitious beliefs may also increase a person’s belief in his or her own abilities and talents from these results…and what may seem like a “lucky break” when for instance, the underdog team wins in the Superbowl, may actually be the result of team-wide, superstition-induced confidence. 

References:

http://soco.uni-koeln.de/files/PsychS21_7.pdf

 

The post Good Luck Charms Really Do Work appeared first on Project Yourself.





Puja Shah
Puja Shah

Author

Puja Shah is a philanthropist and visionary poet who shares her voice with us through written and spoken word, guided meditations, and teaching. She reaches out to community health clinics and provides international outreach to women and children around the world.


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Project Yourself

7 Keys To Mind Power At Any Age
7 Keys To Mind Power At Any Age

by Puja Shah February 20, 2017

As parents, we all wonder how to be sure our kids are receiving the best education possible. And part of this is being sure their lifestyle and home-life support their learning. So, how can you make sure your child is getting the most out of his or her hours spent in school? One way is
Read more

View full article →

10 Reasons Why You Should Love Ginger
10 Reasons Why You Should Love Ginger

by Puja Shah January 19, 2017

Ginger is one of the healthiest (and most delicious) super foods on the planet. It is loaded with nutrients and bio active compounds that have powerful benefits for your whole body and even your brain. Ginger belongs to the Zingiberaceae family, and is closely related to turmeric, cardamom and galangal. The rhizome (which is the

View full article →

7 Tips For A Long Distance Relationship
7 Tips For A Long Distance Relationship

by Puja Shah January 19, 2017

Being a long distance relationship can be taxing. It’s hard to maintain when two people are in the same place already, so the distance adds a whole other dimension to the relationship.  But don’t let the miles bog you down- try to focus on the the little things you can do now so you can
Read more

The post 7 Tips For A Long Distance Relationship appeared first on Project Yourself.

View full article →

Sale

Unavailable

Sold Out