In the early 2000s, psychologist Richard Wiseman conducted a series of experiments at the University of Herdfordshire, the purpose of which was to understand what is luck?
The experiments involved 400 people. Half of them considered themselves “lucky”, and the second half, on the contrary, perceived themselves as “unlucky”.
In one of the experiments, Wiseman asked the subjects to count the number of illustrations in the newspaper. “Unlucky” spent about 2 minutes counting illustrations. “Lucky” returned the newspaper after a few seconds, because they noticed on its second page an advertisement previously posted by the organizers of the experiment. It sounded like this: “Do not count further, there are 43 pictures.”
The “unsuccessful” did not notice this announcement because they were too focused on counting the pictures.
Another experiment gave the same result, during which the participants received the following task: to go through an empty room, and then in the next room to sit at a table next to a certain man, drink a cup of coffee and go back.
For the assignment, each participant in the experiment received 10 pounds.
All participants in the experiment successfully completed the task, both “lucky” and “unlucky.” But the “lucky” got a lot more than 10 pounds.
Because they noticed a 50-pound note lying on the floor in the first, empty room. The “unsuccessful” did not notice this banknote – they were too focused on the assignment.
In addition, the “lucky” ones, as opposed to the “unlucky ones,” did not just silently drink coffee next to a “certain man,” but began to communicate with him and quickly found out that this man was a well-known businessman who offered people a highly paid job.
Analyzing the results of experiments, Richard Wiseman wrote: “Those who consider themselves unsuccessful have too narrow a focus of attention. They are obsessed with security and very anxious instead of playing like a dolphin in a sea of random choice, they are fixated on controlling what is happening.”
Why am I writing about this interesting experiment on a friday morning? I just wanted to remind myself that this sea of random choice is all around me, and the only thing that matters is my own way to see things. Whatever comes – stay on the bright side!