Social & Behavioral Science Research
Engaging in Magical Thinking
Honors students in Professor Bill Ford's Experimental Psychology course have been investigating the conditions under which people will engage in magical thinking. Students systematically replicate and extend experiments originally conducted by Jane Risen, Professor of Behavioral Science at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. In this research process, students are investigating the following questions: Do you believe in magic? Do you have a favorite piece of fan gear that you always wear when your favorite team is playing? Would you never think of sitting for a final exam without your lucky pen? Do you believe that leaving a slow-moving line will cause it to suddenly begin to move faster?