The Science Of Luck And Its Effect In Success [Video]By Chris Brandt, UniversityHerald Reporter
Despite the many advances in science and technology, humans are still superstitious with their own set of beliefs about luck. While luck is often associated with fate and destiny, research shows that a belief in luck affects success.
Various psychological studies revealed that the way people think how lucky or unlucky they are says a lot about their well-being and their perspective about life. According to these studies, luck has a magical effect on the life of people. It's not the fairy godmother or four-leaf clover kind of effect but something that incites positive thought and action.
People who believe they are lucky are optimistic and have a strong emotional quotient and low anxiety levels. Psychologists say that it even increases a person's self-confidence. For example, if a person thinks he or she is lucky, they will show up for a date in a relaxed and confident manner. This, in turn, makes them more attractive to the other person.
Richard Wiseman, a psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire, conducted a study that compares people who consider themselves either lucky or unlucky. What he and his team did was instruct the participants to count how many pictures are there in a newspaper. Unknown to the subjects, the researchers placed the answer on the second page of the newspaper. Wiseman and his team made a surprising discovery - those who considered themselves lucky found the answer while those who didn't miss it.
Another study conducted by John Maltby, a psychologist from the University of Leicester, conducted two separate studies on luck and how it affects how people plan, organize, and perform their tasks. The first study was conducted in 2013 and found out that there is a link between the feeling of being unlucky and the lower executive function skills.
The second study, which occurred in 2015, provided more electrical activity in the brain regarding the relationship between the two. It involved 20 participants - 10 believed they were unlucky while the other half believed they were lucky.
He said that those who believe they are lucky always plan ahead and have higher critical thinking skills than those who feel unlucky. Maltby used the example of running out of ink while printing. He said that a lucky person has planned ahead and brought a spare cartridge just in case so when the ink runs out, he has a spare and thinks how lucky he is. In contrast, the unlucky person won't have the foresight and when the ink runs out, he thinks how unlucky he is.
With science presenting strong evidence about how belief in luck greatly affects success, it would not hurt for people to cultivate a belief in luck no matter how frivolous that kind of thinking might sound to them.