Saturday, 19 June 2010, 11:22 IST
In the experiments, the participants either brought their own lucky 'charms,' were given something they were told was lucky or had some other superstition-based encouragement. The researchers found that in all four experiments, the participants who had a lucky charm or were given encouragement via a common superstitious saying performed significantly better than their control counterparts.
The participants performed better and faster on motor dexterity tests, plus they had more confidence in their own abilities when asked beforehand how they thought they would do.
The research is the first time superstitions associated with good luck have been demonstrated to affect future performance beneficially. The research is published online in the journal Psychological Science.