Luck n : is
defined by Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary as:
"That which happens to a person; an event, good or ill, affecting
one's interests or happiness, and which is deemed causal; a course or
series of such events regarded as occurring by chance; chance; hap; fate;
fortune; often, one's habitual or characteristic fortune; as good, bad,
ill or hard luck. Luck is often used for good luck; as, luck is
better than skill."
It is believed by some, that the observance of certain superstitions
will bring good luck. Some believe that by touching wood, searching
for a four leaved clover or carrying a rabbits claw will in some way court
However a study by Dr. Richard Wiseman, who is known as one of Britain's
leading paranormal investigators has conducted some research to test for
the existence of this elusive phenomena. The whole question of luck
has been investigated for years and it would appear that the most rigorous
scientific study has concluded that there is no such thing. The
conclusion of the report was indeed that people generally create their own
good fortune or luck.
To help prove or disprove the existence of luck, Dr. Wiseman recruited 400
individuals who considered themselves to be either lucky or unlucky.
These same individuals agreed to have their lives scrutinized for several
years. Dr Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire, is quoted as
"I decided to investigate the actual beliefs and experiences of lucky
and unlucky people. The results were astounding, with our
respondents consistently asserting that good and bad luck had exerted a
huge influence over their lives."
"Interviewees reported being in the right place at the right time for
a job opportunity, or bumping into a stranger at a party they hadn't
planned to attend, only to fall in love."
"And by contrast there were those who reported having missed one
train, only to end up in a huge accident on the next."
"Lucky or unlucky, they all subscribed to the idea that chance ruled
The research by Dr Wiseman, however revealed that those leading the
charmed lives, use basic principals to create good fortune without
actually realizing it. For example, within minutes of meeting
strangers they were able to determine whether or not these strangers were
actually trustworthy or not. This was tested by the use of
videotape. Each volunteer was sent a videotape containing footage of
individuals that were either telling the truth or lying. The
volunteers were subsequently asked to pick out the liars. Dr Wiseman
"The lucky subjects were far more accurate."
It was also shown that those who professed to be lucky also reported
winning a variety of different amounts of prizes in lotteries etc.
However under closer investigation it was revealed that they simply tended
to buy more lottery tickets and enter more raffles and more contests.
"Those who thought themselves lucky thus increased their chances of
winning," said Dr. Wiseman.
"The truth is that blind chance favours nobody, lucky or
It was also shown through psychological tests that the lucky volunteers
tended to be optimists.
"their high expectations about future wealth, health and happiness
often became self fulfilling prophecies," said Dr. Wiseman.
As well as that the lucky group tended to be more exploitative of chances
that came their way and their intuition also proved more accurate.
"They consistently display enough courage to make important life
decisions on the basis of gut instinct," said Dr. Wiseman.
"Lucky people also persevere, do not use bad luck as an excuse for
their own mistakes and always look on the bright side of life."
The study has also enabled Dr. Wiseman to compile series of exercises that
may enable people to improve their luck by changing their outlook.
Dr Wiseman said: "Once one understands the secrets of luck, it is
possible to create a luckier life,". He went on to add "It
is possible to create a luckier life."
The findings of Dr. Wiseman's research can be found in his book: The
Luck Factor - published by Century Books.
Source: Information and extracts for this article taken from
The Daily Mail - Friday, January 2003