People are very superstitious creatures. Horoscopes, sayings, rituals — these are just some of the things we succumb to in order to feel like there is some structure to the chaotic and unpredictable world we live in. One of the most popular ways to try and increase one’s own luck are lucky charms — items that often have some sentimental or cultural meaning that is supposed to bring good luck upon their owner.
A lot of people might scoff at the sheer idea of carrying a lucky charm around with them as a silly superstition, placing them in the same category as the aforementioned horoscopes or rituals. As it turns out, the truth is a little bit more complicated than that. Studies conducted by various scientists have concluded that having special items that you associate with good fortune may actually increase your chances of succeeding at whatever it is that you wish to succeed at.
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So if you’re one of those people scrolling through the best lottery sites with a four-leaf clover on your desk, don’t let the naysayers bring you down! There is actual psychological science behind your habit, and this article is going to dive deeper into how exactly it can contribute to improving your luck.
History of Lucky Charms
A lucky charm or talisman is believed to provide the person who owns it with a form of protection, in the form of good luck. In fact, the word “talisman” is thought to have originated from the Arabic word “tilsam“, meaning an object that protects its owner from demons.
It is important to note that not every lucky charm will bring about instant luck. A lucky charm usually works to improve your luck and bring happiness and positivity into your life.
Therefore, a lucky charm must possess some intrinsic value in order to do so and this is often the reason why people choose specific items that have deep personal significance.
Even though lucky charms and talismans are generally regarded as being beneficial, some people believe that having one can bring bad luck and misfortune. The controversy surrounding talismans is mainly due to superstitions and religions. For example, in Judaism, there are certain amulets that are deemed to be forbidden as they are believed to involve the use of idolatry. However, there are still many believers who use charms regardless of what their holy texts have to say about them.
While not all lucky charms come in the form of an amulet or talisman, their purpose is still to provide its owner with protection and good fortune. When it comes to protecting yourself against bad luck, something as simple as a four-leaf clover can do just the trick!
Lucky Charms and Psychology
Okay, so lucky charms have accompanied humans for centuries, but how do they actually influence the outcomes of our actions? Well, in 2010, a group of German psychologists has conducted an experiment meant to answer this exact question.
They asked a sizeable sample of college students to play a round of mini-golf. The students were divided into two groups. One of these groups was given a regular golf ball, and the other one got the same exact models of golf balls, with the exception that they were told that they’re “lucky balls”.
After the games were played, the scientists were shocked to discover that the group that got the lucky golf balls have performed around 35% better than the group who received “regular” balls without any inferred additional qualities.
So while these items that a lot of people hold in such high regard don’t actually have any magical powers, the results of the German study show that people who believe that items in their possession truly bring them good fortune, have increased levels of confidence and tend to perform much better in competitive scenarios.
The Bottom Line
So, there you have it — psychologists agree that lucky charms can boost your confidence and improve performance in many areas of life. They may not actually improve your luck, but, paradoxically, can help you get more control of your own actions. It all comes down to belief — if you trust that your lucky item is going to improve your fortunes, there is quite a lot of sound evidence that it might just do that. It may not work too well with events that you don’t have much control over to begin with, such as gambling or lotteries, but even in these scenarios, having a lucky charm can significantly lift your mood up!
The science behind lucky charms should reassure you of your own abilities and inner potential. If all it takes to bring out the best in you is a belief that an object can bring you good luck, it means that these enhanced performance levels have always been a part of you, locked up deep within your subconscious.