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Title: The deployment of personal luck: Illusory control in games of pure chance
Authors: Wohl, Michael J. A.
Enzle, Michael E.
Keywords: Chance (Fortune);Choice Behavior;Internal External Locus of Control;Magical Thinking
Issue Date: Oct-2002
Publisher: Sage
Citation: Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28, 1388-1397.
Abstract: In three studies, the authors expand on Langer’s (1975) illusion of control model to include perceptions of personal luck as a potential source of misperceived skillful influence over non-controllable events. In an initial study, it was predicted and found that having choice in a game of chance heightened both perceived personal luck and perceived chance of winning. In additional studies, hypotheses were tested based on the proposition that luck perceived as a personal quality follows the laws of sympathetic magic. The results showed that participants acted as though luck could be transmitted from themselves to a wheel of fortune and thereby positively affect their perceived chance of winning. Results are discussed both in terms of the previously unexamined connection between illusory control and beliefs in sympathetic magic and as an extension of the illusory control model.
Description: This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. It is not the copy of record. The official version of scholarly record is accessible from
ISSN: 0146-1672
Appears in Collections:Institute Funded Reports

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