Psychology Supports “Silly” Superstitions

Nina Goodlett, Co-Editor in Chief

To never walk under a ladder to avoid a black cat’s path, people have leaned on superstitions for their good luck. These things sound silly at first, however, they are the most common superstitions in the United States, which many Americans tend to follow.

Currently, these silly superstitions or rituals are said to be unbelievable, but still people follow them to avoid any bad luck that might be sent their way. Why?

Scientists study superstitions and “Why People Believe in the Unbelievable” in an article by stating that it is shown that superstitions have helped to increase mental attitudes in a positive way. 

Personally, I believe that superstitions help to promote positive outcomes. Like many people, we all have our own ways to get over stress, anxiety, or a rough patch in our lives. Whether it’s through religion, fate, manifestation, or… superstitions. 

For me, it’s religion and superstitions that help me to stress less or to thank for passing a test I totally “remembered.”

Sure I think they’re silly, but you’ll never see me split a pole or open an umbrella indoors… just in case. Which raises the question, are superstitions really helpful if they are made out of fear?

Maybe it’s just a bad day, and the only thing new about your daily routine is that you dropped a small mirror you were carrying. Is it really bad luck, or maybe just a coincidence?

Maybe you have a big game coming up and practice on Monday was rough. Later, you take a hot shower and stretch for a couple minutes before going to bed. The next day you go to practice, you tap the paw print painted on the locker room door, and practice goes so well that the coach decides to put you in on Friday.

Is it the hot shower and stretching that could have improved your performance, or the fact that you decided to tap the paw print on the locker room door? Or, is it the belief that tapping the paw print on the door helped you to play, that really makes you play well?

To find out, I went around Westerville South High School asking athletes if they had any game day superstitions for a TikTok. To see what they said, follow @wshsscribe on TikTok