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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Poll: Men more into superstitions

    Do you have trouble walking under ladders or crossing the path of a black cat? Are you afraid of broken mirrors? Your superstitions might just be influenced by your sex, a recent Associated Press-Ipsos poll suggests.

    After interviewing 1,013 random adults, the poll concluded that 31 percent of single men said they were superstitious, while only 17 percent of single women said the same.

    Pre-business freshman Zach Miller said he would describe himself as superstitious, but only about sports.

    “”If my soccer

    Sometimes what we call ‘superstitions’ turn out to be real phenomena.

    -Gary Schwartz,
    psychology professor

    team won a game, I wouldn’t wash my socks again until we lost,”” Miller said. “”I think having a superstition can give you a competitive advantage in some cases and it makes playing sports more fun.””

    Proving that sports superstition isn’t just for the boys, Clare Gersh, a pre-education freshman, admitted to her own pre-game rituals.

    “”Whether I’m watching the sport or playing it, I’m superstitious,”” Gersh said. “”Before high school volleyball games, I would have to put on my uniform the same exact way for every game, and most of the time it worked!””

    “”I’m still as superstitious as I was when I was younger, now it’s just more intense,”” Gersh said.

    While some may laugh off what appear to be childish rituals, psychology professor Gary Schwartz said they may carry more meaning.

    “”Sometimes what we call ‘superstitions’ turn out to be real phenomena,”” Schwartz said. “”Maybe men are simply having these experiences more partly because they are more interested in claims like ghosts. It appears that more ‘ghost hunters’ tend to be men.””

    “”I am not superstitious at all,”” said Marc Silverman, an undeclared freshman. “”People turn to luck to have something to blame, but I’ve always been more realistic.””

    Miller said he agrees.

    “”My superstition has decreased as I’ve gotten older,”” he said. “”I realize how silly it is to believe that something so stupid like not washing your socks can really help you play better.””

    The poll also found that 34 percent of people who “”firmly”” believe in ghosts and unidentified flying objects – roughly the same number of those who are baseball fans – approve of President Bush’s policies and think invading Iraq was a good idea.

    Only 14 percent of people polled claimed to have actually seen an UFO. Most of those respondents were male and “”lower-income people,”” according to the poll.

    The poll also found that only 19 percent of adults “”accept”” the existence of spells and witchcraft, and tend to be “”urban dwellers, minorities and lower-earning people.””

    Forty-eight percent believe in extrasensory perception, commonly called ESP, a belief more readily endorsed by whites and 51 percent of college graduates, compared to 37 percent with a high school diploma or less, according to the poll.

    The poll also found that three in 10 people “”have awakened sensing a strange presence in the room,”” a claim more commonly made by singles than married individuals.

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