Red Kite PR

85% of Brits are superstitious

Press Release   •   Jul 12, 2013 10:05 BST

Celebs are well known for working their charm, and in more ways than one it would appear! Colin Farrell wears a lucky belt, David Beckham wears new soccer cleats for every match and Helen Mirren dons a pair of ‘stripper shoes’ when she wants a boost of good luck. And it’s not only the celebs who put their faith in good luck charms; according to new survey results an impressive two thirds of Brits have a lucky charm too, and a huge 85% of us are superstitious.

These surprising stats are the result of a survey undertaken by across more than 2,000 people throughout the UK, and they suggest that as a nation we are more superstitious than ever, with only 14.73% of us saying that we are not at all superstitious. When it comes to what lucky charms we choose, the most popular is a lucky number (40%), followed by a lucky colour (21%) and then a lucky piece of jewellery (17%). Also quite surprisingly, over two thirds of us said that we have or would wear lucky pants for good luck too!

But why are we so superstitious? For a nation typically described as reserved, orderly and rational, why do so many of us of believe in something so irrational?

Is it because we are so driven? Research in the past has suggested that the activation of a superstition can generate performance-improving effects and that it gives us the illusion that we have some degree of control over future events*. It is certainly interesting to find that studies have proven that that people who think of themselves as lucky actually are lucky, because they are more willing to take advantage of opportunities.**

Or is it something actually built in to us genetically? Looking back historically, it is suggested that believing in luck served as a useful function with researchers at Harvard University saying that humans have evolved to be superstitious because it pays to take a "better safe than sorry" approach to life. History has taught us that it is better to interpret a rustle in the undergrowth as a threat just in case it is a bear, a member of a rival tribe or another real danger.

Or are we superstitious, believing in luck to simply help us to cope with chance events and circumstances beyond our control?

Who really can be sure? Says Darren Sams of LuckyPants Bingo; “Whatever the true cause there is no doubt that the results don’t lie – we are a very superstitious nation, and I think much more so than we realised. It’s fascinating to see that the number of people taking their chance on luck and visiting Lucky Pants Bingo continues to grow, I would love to know how many of them also have their lucky charms with them or actually wear lucky pants whilst they are playing!” 

Other celebrities known to have lucky charms include: Geoffrey Rush (Daffy Duck figurine), Cate Blanchett (Bronzed Galadriel ears), Cameron Diaz (horseshoe necklace), Michael Jordan (lucky gym shorts) and Patrick Dempsey (red puma trainers). And Paris Hilton – makes a wish when she sees a clock reading 11:11

So, how superstitious do you think you are? How many of the below have you done (perhaps without necessarily realising that you’re being superstitious) to gain good luck or avoid back luck? 

·  Said ‘touch wood’

·  Picked up a four leaf clover

·  Thrown salt over your left shoulder

·  Refrained from opening an umbrella indoors

·  Avoided putting new shoes on the table

* Research from the University of Cologne

** Research from Cambridge University psychologist Dr Mike Aitken

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