Washing Away Your (Good Or Bad) Luck: Superstition, Embodiment, and Gambling Behavior
Observations of superstitious behavior suggest that gamblers and athletes change their physical appearance after a streak of bad luck, but avoid doing so after a streak of good luck. We test the metaphorical link between changes in physical status and changes in luck in a gambling situation, using hand washing as a manipulation of physical status. Participants who encountered a winning streak bet less in a subsequent round after having than after not having washed their hands. Conversely, participants who encountered a losing streak bet more in a subsequent round after having than after not having washed their hands. Like other superstitious behaviors, these effects are limited to participants who see luck as fickle.
Alison Jing Xu, Rami Zwick, and Norbert Schwarz (2010) ,"Washing Away Your (Good Or Bad) Luck: Superstition, Embodiment, and Gambling Behavior", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 935-935 .
Alison Jing Xu, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
Rami Zwick, University of California at Riverside, USA
Norbert Schwarz, University of Michigan, USA
NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37 | 2010
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