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Sporting superstitions

80% of professional athletes admit to engaging with at least one superstitious behaviour before a performance. Superstitions are known to reduce tension and give a sense of control over chance factors.

Within football, gymnastics, and athletics, competitors are found to pray for success, checking their appearance and dressing well to feel in control. They also wear lucky charms.

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Superstitious individuals believe in fate as a way to resolve uncertainty and gain some sense of control. They look for a connection between co-occurring, non-related events, such as the idea that charms promote good luck.

Superstitions can provide reassurance and help to reduce anxiety. The actions associated with superstitions can also develop into a habit and failure to perform the ritual can cause anxiety.

  • Superstitious beliefs promote a positive mental attitude, but it can lead to irrational decisions, such as trusting in good luck rather than sound decision making. For example, carrying charms or wearing certain clothes.
  • Superstitions can also give rise to ...

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A questionnaire to measure authoritarianism, first published by the German philosopher, sociologist, and psychologist Theodor W(iesengrund) Adorno (1903–69) and several colleagues in the book “The Authoritarian Personality” (1950).

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