As in the post previously mentioned these findings came from the University of Cologne in Germany where Dr Lysann Damisch asked for volunteers to take part in experiments and to bring with them a lucky charm or lucky item. The results were reported in the "Psychological Science" journal.
The researchers wanted to see if there was any 'power' behind good luck symbols after noting how many sports stars were supersticious. Serena Williams will wear the same socks throughout a tennis event, Tiger Woods wears red on the last day of a tournament and Michael Jordan had his good luck underwear. There are many other examples.
One of the tests was performed on memory. Half of the volunteers had their lucky charms taken away from them. A memory test was then set up where the participants had to pair up playing cards. Those who had their good luck charms performed better than those who who did not. The researchers found that these people also felt more confident and set themselves higher goals.
Other tests showed that simply wishing good luck to someone improved the volunteers manual dexterity. They used the German "'Ich drucke meinen Dauman for Dich'" which roughly translated means "'I press the thumbs for you'". It's the equivalent of the English crossing your fingers for good luck.
So it appears that making a talisman or carrying a good luck symbol will only do good. It's not the power of the actual item, it's the power behind the charm that works.
"Florence Scovel-Shinn" gives an example of this:
"I was with a friend, one day, who was in deep despair. In crossing the street, she picked up a horseshoe. Immediately, she was filled with joy and hope. She said God had sent her the horseshoe in order to keep up her courage.
It was indeed, at that moment, about the only thing that could have registered in her consciousness. Her hope became faith and she ultimately made a wonderful demonstration... this woman recognised the power back of the horseshoe." Quote from The Game of Life and How to Play It.MIKE.
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