Luckiness, competition, and performance on a psi task

M. D. Smith, R. Wiseman, D. Machin, P. Harris, R. Joiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This paper briefly reviews previous research on luck and psi, and presents a study on luckiness, competition, and performance on a psi task from an ongoing research project into the psychology and parapsychology of luck and luckiness. Participants were classified as either lucky, unlucky, or uncertain, according to their responses on a Luckiness Questionnaire. Participants were then asked to guess the outcomes of a series of pseudo-RNG based coin-flips in either a competitive or non-competitive situation. Prior to completing this task, each subject was asked to rate how well they thought they would do at the task. It was found that lucky participants performed no better than unlucky participants on the psi task and gave nonsignificantly higher ratings of predicted psi performance. Participants in the competitive condition did not perform significantly better on the psi task than participants in the non-competitive condition. Most notably, however, a significant positive correlation was found between predicted psi performance and actual psi performance. The implications of these findings are discussed, as are suggested directions for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-43
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Parapsychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1997


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