Prof. Richard Wiseman has recently published interesting studies turned to find the “fortune factor”. According to this statement, relaxed and calm people can find lucky opportunities more easily. Prof. Wiseman asked to two groups of people to count the images in a newspapers. The group made of people who thought to be lucky counted the images in few seconds, while the people who thought to be unlucky needed 2 minutes. Why? Prof. Wiseman states that anxious people have more problems to find unexpected opportunities and the people who think to be unlucky are more anxious… that is the more you are on the edge , the less you can get opportunities, while the more you are relaxed the more you have lucky chances! See: wellness therapies, anxiety remedies, stress remedies New scientific articles by Prof. Richard Wiseman . MEASURING SUPERSTITIOUS BELIEF: WHY LUCKY CHARMS MATTER Richard Wiseman1, & Caroline Watt2 1University of Hertfordshire 2University of Edinburgh ABSTRACT A large body of research has attempted to develop theories about the function and origin of superstitious beliefs on the basis of the psychological correlates of such beliefs. Most of this work has measured superstitious belief using the Paranormal Belief Scale (PBS), and has tended to find that superstitious belief is associated with poor psychological adjustment such as low self-efficacy and high trait anxiety. However, the PBS refers solely to negative superstitions (e.g., breaking a mirror will cause bad luck) and omits items referring to positive superstitions (e.g., carrying a lucky charm will bring good luck). Positive superstitions may serve different psychological functions to negative superstitions. Indeed, as with other forms of “positive illusions”, beliefs in positive superstitions may be psychologically adaptive. This paper reports two studies investigating this neglected aspect of the psychological correlates of superstitious belief. If positive and negative superstitious beliefs serve different psychological functions, then we might expect, using Analysis of Variance, to find interactions between superstition type, and various relevant individual difference measures. Study 1 was a large-scale Internet-based study which investigated the relationship between endorsement of superstition type, gender, and a single-item measure of neuroticism. Participants were asked to indicate the degree to which they endorsed three negative and three positive superstitious beliefs using five response options (anchored with Definitely Yes and Definitely No). The three negative items were: “Have you avoided walking under a ladder because it is associated with bad luck?”; “Would you be anxious about breaking a mirror because it is thought to cause bad luck?”; and, “Are you superstitious about the number 13?”. The three positive items were: “Do you say ‘fingers crossed’ or actually cross your fingers?”; “Do you say ‘touch wood’ or actually touch or knock on wood”; and, “Do you sometimes carry a lucky charm or object?”. 4,339 individuals took part in study 1. The highly statistically significant results found interactions between gender and endorsement of superstition type, and between neuroticism and superstition type. Study 2 was conducted by mail, and sought to replicate and extend the findings obtained in Study 1 by administering validated questionnaire measures of neuroticism and life satisfaction alongside positive and negative superstition items. 116 individuals took part. As with study 1, there was a significant interaction between gender and superstition type, but no interaction was found for neuroticism. A significant interaction was found between superstition type and life satisfaction. Overall, these findings indicate that the psychological correlates of superstitious belief vary depending on whether the belief is in positive or negative superstitions. These findings have important implications for theory development, demonstrate that the PBS is an incomplete measure of superstitious belief, and highlight the need for future measures to include items referring to positive superstitions.