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The psychology of luck: how superstition can help you win

Studies on lucky charms

  • Studies reveal that people perform better on tasks when they have a lucky charm with them. During a series of memory tasks, students who were allowed to keep their lucky charms performed better than students who had their charms taken away.
  • Attitude plays a big role in luck. Someone who believes they are lucky will try harder at a challenging task. That persistence can have a self-reinforcing effect. The harder the task they take on, the more chance of success, increasing the belief that they are lucky.

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The psychology of luck: how superstition can help you win

The psychology of luck: how superstition can help you win

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jul/25/psychology-donald-trump-win-luck-superstition

theguardian.com

3

Key Ideas

Believing in luck

Luck is a hard thing to prove. There is no real thing we can call luck, but we can create a real object and transfer luck to it, such as a lucky penny or a lucky charm.

These lucky objects give the feeling of a security blanket. They provide an illusion of control for the person who believes in them.

Studies on lucky charms

  • Studies reveal that people perform better on tasks when they have a lucky charm with them. During a series of memory tasks, students who were allowed to keep their lucky charms performed better than students who had their charms taken away.
  • Attitude plays a big role in luck. Someone who believes they are lucky will try harder at a challenging task. That persistence can have a self-reinforcing effect. The harder the task they take on, the more chance of success, increasing the belief that they are lucky.

A positive attitude and luck

A positive attitude towards life makes it seem like more happy events happen for a person.

While it is not rational to believe in luck, understanding the psychology behind it can explain why some people seem to be successful while others can never get to the top.

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Maximize Opportunities

Lucky people do not wait for things to happen to them. They take notice and act upon the opportunities that they find.

Listen With Your Gut

Lucky people act on their intuitions across many areas of their lives.

Intuition is when your body and brain have detected a pattern before you have deliberately considered it.

Expect Good Fortune

You are more likely to be successful if you are optimistic about your opportunities. 

When you think things will work out, you are more apt to persevere. You are also open to new opportunities.

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Luck And Chance
Luck And Chance

Like the flip of a coin coming up with heads or tails, chance is what happens out there, and is an aspect of the physical universe. Luck, on the other hand, is a perceived value of...

Getting Luckier

People try to change the chance outcomes, and thereby their luck by using blind superstition or old ritual to affect the outcome, but there is no evidence of them working.

Luck can be increased with hard work, though what can happen out there is still anybody’s guess. The prepared mind that is able to act with speed and direction has more favourable chances than the one who is not paying attention.

Luck and Our Perception On Life

Being lucky or unlucky often is our own perception and outlook towards life.

If we survive a car accident, we consider ourselves lucky to be alive or to be unlucky to be involved in the accident in the first place, ruining our vehicle.

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Luck is a perceptual bias

In other people, we focus on the successful result, not the struggle and growth experience they endured to reach it, while in ourselves, all we’re aware of is the struggle we endure and n...

We control our luck

... to a certain extent. We may not directly affect major opportunities of our life at any given moment (like finding oil on our property), but we can indirectly influence how many opportunities spring up and the ferocity with which we pursue them.

We control our luck

... to a certain extent. We may not directly affect major opportunities of our life at any given moment (like finding oil on our property), but we can indirectly influence how many opportunities spring up and the ferocity with which we pursue them.

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