Exploring the relationship between superstition and defensive pessimism
Olson, Rebecca N. S.
University of Wisconsin--Stout. Office of Research and Sponsored Programs
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This study examines the relationship between superstitious beliefs and defensive pessimism. Superstitions are beliefs or rituals that help control stress and increase positive or reduce negative outcomes (Vyse, 2014). Defensive pessimism is a coping strategy that helps control fears and anxieties during performance by analyzing every scenario that could go wrong in order to prepare and harness one’s energy to produce positive outcomes (Norem, 2001). Participants were recruited via Facebook to complete survey measures of both factors. Results of a Pearson’s r correlation revealed that a positive relationship exists between defensive pessimism and superstition, however this relationship was only significant for women. Future studies should examine this relationship to determine if the two work synonymously or independently of one another to reduce anxiety or enhance performance.