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

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Geronimus says black-white differences in mortality "help silence black voices in the electorate"

Do universities need more conservative thinkers?

Starr critical of risk assessment scores for sentencing

Highlights

Presentation on multilevel modeling using Stata, July 26th, noon, 6050 ISR

Frey's new report explores how the changing US electorate could shape the next 5 presidential elections, 2016 to 2032

U-M's Data Science Initiative offers expanded consulting services via CSCAR

Elizabeth Bruch promoted to Associate Professor

Next Brown Bag

PSC Brown Bags
will resume fall 2016

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