Friday, April 25, 2014

College Student Superstitions

As finals are among us, I thought I would address some superstitions that college students have when they take their exams. For the book group project, I am reading Believing in Magic by Stuart Vyse and he talks about some pre-test rituals. 
The most common one he found (and I found when researching) was that students tend to wear certain clothing on the day of the day.  A “lucky scarf” or a “lucky sweatshirt” is believed by students to “carry a part of their brains” thus making the exam easier to take. Students believe that by having a specific article of clothing, they will do better on the exam than if they did not have it at all. 
Another interesting ritual I found was sleeping with the textbook or notes of the class under your pillow the night before the exam. Some students believe that osmosis, or the process of absorbing information, helps them understand the test materials better while they sleep. This was one pre-exam ritual I tried and learned that it did not help. My knowledge of the material did not come to me through sleeping on my notes and I felt that it made no impact on my test score.

The links below have descriptions of other superstitions and some “proven” research of different topics.

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