Home > Publications . Search All . Browse All . Country . Browse PSC Pubs . PSC Report Series

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Frey comments on why sunbelt metro area economies are still struggling

Krause says having religious friends leads to gratitude, which is associated with better health

Work by Bailey and Dynarski on growing income gap in graduation rates cited in NYT

Highlights

Find an innovative research Cube at the MCubed Symposium, Oct 9, register now

Martha Bailey and Nicolas Duquette win Cole Prize for article on War on Poverty

Michigan's graduate sociology program tied for 4th with Stanford in USN&WR rankings

Jeff Morenoff makes Reuters' Highly Cited Researchers list for 2014

Next Brown Bag

Monday, Oct 6
Elisha Renne (Michigan)

Washing Away Your (Good or Bad) Luck: Physical Cleansing Affects Risk-Taking Behavior

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Xu, A., R. Zwick, and Norbert Schwarz. 2012. "Washing Away Your (Good or Bad) Luck: Physical Cleansing Affects Risk-Taking Behavior." Journal of Experimental Psychology-General, 141(1): 26-30.

Many superstitious practices entail the belief that good or bad luck can be "washed away." Consistent with this belief, participants who recalled (Experiment 1) or experienced (Experiment 2) an episode of bad luck were more willing to take risk after having as opposed to not having washed their hands, whereas participants who recalled or experienced an episode of good luck were less willing to take risk after having as opposed to not having washed their hands. Thus, the psychological effects of physical cleansings extend beyond the domain of moral judgment and are independent of people's motivation: incidental washing not only removes undesirable traces of the past (such as bad luck) but also desirable ones (such as good luck), which people would rather preserve.

DOI:10.1037/a0023997 (Full Text)

Browse | Search : All Pubs | Next