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November 2022

Luck in action? Belief in good luck, psi-mediated instrumental response, and games of chance

Author(s): Nagtegaal, M.

Journal/Book: J Parapsychol. 2000; 64: 402 N Buchanan Blvd, Durham, NC 27701-1728, USA. Inst Parapsychology. 33-52.

Abstract: Sixty individuals took part in a study designed to explore connections between belief in good luck (BIGL), performance on a laboratory PMIR (nonintentional psi) task, and expectations of success and actual performance at two games of chance (playing the UK National Lottery and a simple die throwing task). No overall evidence was found of nonintentional psi, t(59) = -.597. A marginally significant positive correlation was found, as predicted, between PMIR and luckiness as measured by the BIGL scale, r, (58) = .210, p = .05, one-tailed. As predicted, BIGL correlated positively with expected lottery success: r (58) = .438, p < .01, one-tailed, for confidence of winning; r (58) = .477, p < .01, lone-tailed, for expected winnings. With expected die throwing success, r (58) = .378, p < .01, one-tailed, for confidence of success; r (58) = .222, p < .01, one-tailed, p < .05, one-tailed for chances of success. Lucky and not lucky groups did not differ in terms of actual lottery playing behavior, z = 1.570, P = .116, two-tailed. According to their BIGL responses, lucky participants did no better at the lottery than not lucky participants, z = .695, p = .487, two-tailed. However, those participants who specifically believed their luck could affect their lottery success had significantly greater lottery success than those who did not believe their luck could affect their lottery success, z = 2.472, p = .013, two-tailed. There appeared to be no indication that lucky participants performed better at the die throwing task than not lucky participants.

Note: Article Watt C, Univ Edinburgh, Dept Psychol, 7 George Sq, Edinburgh EH8 9JZ, Midlothian, SCOTLAND

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