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No dogs near the gambling table and keep your horny toad close
Superstitions are so common that even the most
diehard realists sometimes fall prey to believing
them. It is well known that famous athletes have their
beliefs: Michael Jordan led the Chicago Bulls to six
NBA Championships wearing his "lucky"
college gym shorts underneath his uniform. Golfer
Tiger Woods supposedly believes that the color red is
lucky for him (Superstitions run rampant, 2004).
Significant differences were found between problem and
non-problem gamblers on several demographic variables
as well as in the endorsement of superstitious
beliefs. Problem gamblers reported significantly
greater (1) number of gambling sessions per week, (2)
amount of money taken to gambling sessions, (3)
current debt, (4) years of problem gambling, (5)
weekly losses, and (6) time spent at gambling
As Table 2 demonstrates, people who endorsed
superstitious beliefs spent more time and more money
gambling than those who did not endorse as many
Table 2. Correlations (Kendal tau-b method) between gambling behavior variables and superstition ratings.
A limitation of this study is that the researchers did
not define "superstition" for the
interviewed subjects. Perceptions of a concept such as
"superstition" might differ greatly from
subject to subject. It is not clear that these eight
items measure one underlying construct