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The Relationship Between Belief in Stable Luck and a Propensity for Superstition: The Influence of Culturally Conferred Agency Beliefs


Superstition is known to be positively associated with the belief in luck. However, prior research that has demonstrated the link between luck belief and superstition has not distinguished between two different types of luck beliefs—stable luck and fleeting luck—and their concomitant relationships with agency beliefs and superstition, as those vary by culture. The current research focused on the belief in stable luck and investigated the relationship between this belief and the propensity for superstition among Asians and Americans (Study 1) or Asian Americans and non–Asian Americans (Study 2). We found that belief in stable luck is positively associated with the propensity for superstition among Asians (Study 1) and Asian Americans (Study 2) but not among individuals without Asian cultural background. Furthermore, belief in collective agency mediated the effect of stable luck on superstition, but again, only for Asians (Study 3). The implications of these findings for the study of culture are discussed.

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