Archive for June, 2009

Are some people really luckier than others, or is it all in their heads? Both

Posted on: June 15th, 2009 by admin

By Michael Shermer/ Source: Scientific American

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neuromuscular disease that attacks motor neurons until muscle weakness, atrophy and paralysis lead inexorably to death. Victims of this monstrous malady could be forgiven for feeling unlucky.

How, then, can we explain the attitude of the disease’s namesake, baseball great Lou Gehrig? He told a sellout crowd at Yankee Stadium: “For the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth.” The Iron Horse then recounted his many blessings and fortunes, a list twice punctuated with “I’m lucky” and “That’s something.”

Clearly, luck is a state of mind. Is it more than that? To explore this question scientifically, experimental psychologist Richard Wiseman created a “luck lab” at the University of Hertfordshire in England.

(more…)


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