Supernatural Study Aids are a Natural for Students Preparing for an Examination
When final and mid-term exams roll around it fills many students with dread, especially final exams. Maybe not for the studious and meritorious students, but for the average Joes and Janes, exam time surely demands luck to be in their favor. Students spend the whole year or semester wasting their time and then miraculously expect good grades at the end of the term.
I don’t know about you, but I certainly knew many students who waited until the very last minute to study for most exams. One of them in particular, who I know very well, usually started studying about 1am for an hour or two until they got too sleepy, then went to bed hoping (and sometimes praying) that they would pass the final or other important test.
Well, which student does not want good grades at the end of the semester? When Stuart A. Vyse of Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition published the percentages of psychology students at Connecticut College engaging in various exam – related superstitions, the results were funny, intriguing, and an eye – opener.
The highest percentage (62%) gainer were items like pen, piece of jewelry or any clothing that students felt was lucky for them. A friend I knew back in college was such a believer in the good luck of her pen that she used that one single pen only during exams during the 3 – year graduation course! Well she was the top-rated student of our class. Can we credit her success to her pen?
Second in line was sitting in a particular seat (54%) or listening to special music just before the exam (38%). This is something I too believed once. In my school days, there was a particular seat at the right hand corner of the classroom, which I considered to be lucky for me. Why? It happened when I was in 9th grade and had not prepared the mathematics paper thoroughly. I feared to see the ‘fail’ remark but ‘luckily’, I received 95/100 marks. I barely remember what I had written and in fact, went to the teacher to total my marks again, it was the same. Then onwards I sat at the exact same seat till the day I cleared my high school.
Anyhow, some other supernatural study aids, according to Vyse, were wearing sloppy clothes, touching a lucky object like stones, eating some particular food before the exam, avoiding a particular person or place, using another luck enhancing strategy – all these were rated between 13% and 35%.
How do these objects or actions become lucky? When something ‘good’ or ‘worthwhile’ happens while being associated with an object or action, we tend to consider it as luck. Our psychology automatically regards it as beneficial for us and that object or action gathers the importance of a ‘talisman’ – an object considered to have supernatural powers, according to ancient wisdom.
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