Men & Lucky Numbers

Have a lucky number? Don’t bother with unlucky 13 and other nonsense? Congratulations, you may be a typical male. Or a typical Italian one, anyway.

A study published in the Journal of Economic Psychology has found that men are more influenced—in that they believe they work—by lucky numbers and women by unlucky ones. Researchers had a bunch of students take an exam. Sixty-one sat in a chair numbered seventeen, which is considered unlucky in Italy. One hundred and eight students took the same exam, seated in chairs numbered either thirteen or thirty, both considered lucky in Italy. The remainder sat in chairs with other numbers, considered neither lucky nor unlucky. When the exam was over, students had to say how well they thought they did.

When researchers compared the students confidence to their actual results, they found that, of the students seated in ‘lucky’ seats, men were more overconfident than anyone else. Women seated in a ‘lucky’ seat showed no such overconfidence. Conversely, women sitting in an unlucky seat were significantly less confident than their results showed; men seated in an ‘unlucky’ seat had no such disadvantage.

Of course, it’s a touch embarrassing to have your thinking clouded by ‘lucky numbers’ either way, but still: keep your confidence in check. For your sake.

Photo courtesy of flickr

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