The Power of Magic

Research shows that anything that makes you feel lucky can make you more confident and help you perform better. And, believe it or not, wishing others luck makes them perform better too. In one experiment—a dexterity task that normally took more than 5 minutes to complete—was accomplished, on average, in just over 3 minutes if participants were wished good luck before tackling the task. And in one study (“The Effect of Placebo-Induced Changes in Expectancies on Maximal Force Production in College Students,” Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, Volume 19, Issue 1 Jan 2007, pages 116-124), placebos, which theoretically should be of no benefit, were shown to improve force production in the bench press and leg press. So a word to the wise, when you compete in the Punk Rope Games this year don’t feel weird about wearing your lucky socks. They might just win you a gold medal. And don’t forget to wish your teammates good luck too! For further reading, check out The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking: How Irrational Beliefs Keep Us Happy, Healthy, and Sane by Matthew Hutson along with Eric Barker’s blog post from Barking Up the Wrong Tree.

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