Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Illusion of control: Why sports fans prefer 'lucky' products

Date:
May 14, 2013
Source:
Journal of Consumer Research, Inc.
Summary:
Consumers engage in superstitious behavior when they want to achieve something but don’t have the power to make it happen, according to a new study.

Consumers engage in superstitious behavior when they want to achieve something but don't have the power to make it happen, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Related Articles


"Preference for lucky products (those associated with positive outcomes) increases when a strong desire for control is combined with lower perceived ability to exert control. Consumers who make superstitious choices believe they will be effective in helping them achieve the desired outcome," write authors Eric J. Hamerman (Tulane University) and Gita V. Johar (Columbia University).

Sports fans are well known for their superstitious behavior. A current Bud Light commercial with the tag line of "it's only weird if it doesn't work" shows the odd ways in which NFL fans root for their teams. Robert De Niro's character in Silver Linings Playbook engages in deeply superstitious behavior that will supposedly help the Philadelphia Eagles win.

In one study, right-handed consumers played rock-paper-scissors. Those who won more often using their left (vs. right) hand preferred to continue playing with their left hand. This was more likely to occur among consumers with a stronger desire for control, and those who preferred to play left-handed after associating this hand with victory tended to believe they were more likely to win in the future.

Consumers can become conditioned to associate certain products with success or failure. For example, a sports fan who was drinking a Dr. Pepper while watching his favorite team win a game might later drink Dr. Pepper -- even if he would actually prefer a Coke -- while watching future games in the hope that he's giving his team an extra edge.

"Conditioned superstitions are formed when consumers associate products with success or failure. Depending on how much they wish to control their environment -- and their perception of whether they can do so -- consumers who make these associations may be more likely to act on them, thereby creating an illusion of control over future outcomes," the authors conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Journal of Consumer Research, Inc.. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Eric J. Hamerman and Gita V. Johar. Conditioned Superstition: Desire for Control and Consumer Brand Preferences. Journal of Consumer Research, October 2013

Cite This Page:

Journal of Consumer Research, Inc.. "Illusion of control: Why sports fans prefer 'lucky' products." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130514112741.htm>.
Journal of Consumer Research, Inc.. (2013, May 14). Illusion of control: Why sports fans prefer 'lucky' products. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130514112741.htm
Journal of Consumer Research, Inc.. "Illusion of control: Why sports fans prefer 'lucky' products." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130514112741.htm (accessed December 17, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

AP (Dec. 16, 2014) More departments are ordering their first responders to sit in on training sessions that focus on how to more effectively interact with those with autism spectrum disorder (Dec. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Newsy (Dec. 12, 2014) A study out of Britain suggest men are more idiotic than women based on the rate of accidental deaths and other factors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Believing in Father Christmas Good for Children's Imaginations

Believing in Father Christmas Good for Children's Imaginations

AFP (Dec. 12, 2014) As the countdown to Christmas gets underway, so too does the Father Christmas conspiracy. But psychologists say that telling our children about Santa, flying reindeer and elves is good for their imaginations. Duration: 01:57 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Airplane Seat Choice Says a Lot About You

Your Airplane Seat Choice Says a Lot About You

Buzz60 (Dec. 11, 2014) Are you an aisle or window seat person? Expedia and top psychologists say that choice says a lot about your personality. Sean Dowling (Seandowlingtv) has more. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins