Do good luck charms work? - Barking up the wrong tree
Eric Barker stashed this in Diabolical Plans For World Domination
This is a variation on the Placebo Effect, right?
People with a lucky charm performed significantly better than did the people who had none. That's right, having a lucky charm will make you a better golfer, should you care about such things, and improve your cognitive performance on tasks such as memory games.
I think the effect is something similar to Fishermans' superstitions: it keeps you more alert and focused under perilous circumstances.
I think there's something more to it than that.
It has to do with the power of the human mind.
When a person believes s/he can do something, s/he is much more likely to be able to do it.
Confidence may not make you better but it may prevent you from being worse.