The Luck of the Irish...Are you really that Lucky?
It all starts with St. Patrick's Day which is celebrated every year on March 17th. To us, it's a huge holiday for drinking and partying and celebrating St. Patrick himself but to the people in Ireland, it's really just another day. About thirty four million people in the world claim that they are of Irish decent. Some of the most common things that people think are lucky are cereal hiding lucky charms, the handing out of shamrocks, potential pots of gold at the end of rainbows, and leprauchans. The purpose of this topic is to see if people really can have the luck of the irish as they claim to. I found a quote that is great to disprove this notion. It states, "Luck is probability taken personally." The question at hand is, "Can one really up the ante and say they have the luck of the irish or is it purely based on probability taken the wrong way?" The information found on this topic is as follows. Skinner (1948) initially studied the ‘superstitious’
responses of pigeons and stated that experimental birds behaved as if
there were a causal relation between their behavior and the
presentation of food. He then made an analogy to human behaviours such
as adhering to rituals to change one’s luck when playing cards (Skinner, 1948). Specifically, in these instances people believe that fate controls
their outcomes, and hold superstitious beliefs in order to influence
their future as reflected in problem gambling
or use of lucky talismans, engaging in simple acts such as touching
wood or crossing fingers in an effort to prevent bad fortune and / or
bring on good (Vyse, 1997). Our group is presenting on the Vyse book so I found this very interesting that it was mentioned in this article I found for my post. Personally, my point of view is that is untrue in a sense. I understand how people can think that when they're having a good day and things seem to be in their favor, that it is purely luck. I don't believe this because I am Irish and I don't feel that I'm any luckier than anyone else. Everyone seems to think that fate and luck have a lot to do with their daily events and the things that happen almost by chance. If someone is Irish, they will generally think that nothing bad will happen to them because they have the "luck of the irish." Probability is based on luck and fate in a different way. Probability is the likelihood that something will definitely happen. Although neither of these things can be proven either way, I find it interesting that so many people legitimately believe in the luck of the irish especially on St. Patrick's Day.
The popular media and self-help industry is rife with extraordinary claims. Alien experimentation, psychic detectives, mediums, ESP, extreme therapies and miracle products are all examples of how pseudoscience and the paranormal have become prevalent, popular and even an extremely lucrative enterprise. The majority of these examples defy the basic laws of science, logic and common sense yet they appeal to a large number of people. Here we will use science, specifically a psychological perspective to explore these popular theories and claims, and learn to think critically in order to be able to constructively evaluate them.