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

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Lam looks at population and development in next 15 years in UN commission keynote address

Mitchell et al. find harsh family environments may magnify disadvantage via impact on 'genetic architecture'

Frey says Arizona's political paradoxes explained in part by demography

Highlights

PSC newsletter spring 2014 issue now available

Kusunoki wins faculty seed grant award from Institute for Research on Women and Gender

2014 PAA Annual Meeting, May 1-3, Boston

USN&WR ranks Michigan among best in nation for graduate education in sociology, public health, economics

Next Brown Bag

Monday, April 21
Grant Miller: Managerial Incentives in Public Service Delivery

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