Surmising in Superstitions

Do you believe in them?


F. Birchman

This photo is showing some of the most common superstitions

Sofia Pawluk, Staff Writer

From Friday the 13th all the way to crossing your fingers are just some of the most common superstitions that people often believe in. According to NBC News, “Many superstitions stem from the same human trait that causes us to believe in monsters and ghosts: When our brains can’t explain something, we make stuff up.

When you were younger, did you ever get scared because you thought there was a monster under your bed, or maybe in your closet? But why? New York Times shares that these beliefs offer “psychological benefits that logic and science can’t always provide: namely, a sense of control and a sense of meaning.”

Common superstitions (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Many studies repeatedly show that with some level of supernatural belief, results are more likely to succeed. For example, psychologist Lysann Damisch performed a study in regards to golf balls. A group of golfers were given what they made up as a “lucky golf ball” and the other half of the group were just given what they called a “regular ball.” The mean performance had a remarkable difference compared to the performances of the individuals that were given the “regular ball.”

After Damisch completed his study, two other individuals pursued their interest in the same study. states, “Bob and colleague Tracy Caldwell (Calin-Jageman & Caldwell, 2014) carried out two large preregistered close replications of the Damisch golf ball study.” The results of these replica experiments were the same for both which ended up having effects close to zero.

The golf ball is what the individuals felt like they were playing with, once they were told it was “lucky”. ( 

So why is it that people believe in these notions? A reason to believe in these different concepts may be because of the rarity with which they transpire.

Every year there is one Friday that lands on the 13th, many people actually never find a four leaf clover, and who knows if blowing out the candles on one’s birthday make wishes come true. Regardless of what the superstition is, it’s most likely people will follow through with all of them. 

“There is a fine line between ritual and superstition, and in a life-threatening business such as spaceflight, superstition can be comforting even to the nonbeliever.” This quote does a perfect job of characterizing and evoking what superstitious undertaking is all about. The hidden comfort that these superstitions commence is something that individuals find peace in.  

One of Louis Prima’s greatest hits, “Pennies From Heaven” (Mile End)

People will continue to do their best not to walk under  ladders or open  umbrellas inside because those little things bring comfort them comfort. Perhaps finding a penny on the ground means someone sent it to you from Heaven, or is a lucky penny. 

There is no doubt that superstitions play a big role in society’s and, even more so, society’s mentality. Whether these ideas bring comfort, good/bad luck, peace in the unknown, or predictability, there will always have a subconscious attachment to them.

Therefore, embrace wishes granted through the breaking of a wishbone and knock on all the wood possible! After all, one never knows…