If you're the kind of person who carries around a LUCKY CHARM, congratulations: There's now scientific evidence that shows you DON'T deserve to be mocked incessantly. In fact . . . keep on carting that moon rock or rabbit's foot around.
A study at the University of Cologne in Germany found that people who are superstitious actually DO perform better on tasks and tests than people who aren't.
The researchers ran several different tests, and each one finished with the same result: The superstitious people ruled.
In one test, the researchers had people on a putting green. They told half the people they were getting a ball that had been lucky all day, and told the other half "this is the ball everyone has used so far."
The people who were told they had a lucky ball made an average of 6.42 putts out of 10 . . . the other people made an average of 4.75 out of 10.
In another test, they took people who had lucky charms and brought them into a room. Half of the people had their charms taken away to, quote, "be photographed" . . . the other half got to keep their lucky charms with them.
Then, all of the people played a memory game. The people who got to keep their lucky charms performed MUCH better than the people who didn't.
The researchers say the effect happens because superstitions about luck actually give people more confidence . . . help them set higher goals . . . and actually encourage them to work harder.
(the guardian, UK)