According to The Larousse, a superstition is “the belief in omens drawn from fortuitous material events”. In other words, it is being convinced of a link between events when no logical argument supports it. “In each exam, there is an element of chance”, analyzes Olivier Klein, professor of social psychology at the ULB. “A student who has worked hard can fail if they come across questions they are less comfortable with. Having a lucky charm makes the student feel like they are in control of that randomness.”
Superstitions are therefore irrational but can quickly feed themselves and gain momentum. A student who succeeds in exams while wearing the same piece of jewelry will be convinced that this piece of jewelry attracts luck. “If it works several times in a row, it will strengthen us in our idea”, notes the psychologist who nevertheless recalls that “human beings are generally not very good at detecting correlations between things”. “If he saw a happy event while wearing his lucky charm, a student will see a causality there where there is none. He will have a truncated view of things.”
However, many students become superstitious during exams. “he will particularly set in during periods of anxiety. It is during these periods that people need to regain a sense of control. Moreover, wearing a grigri is an act that does not require a lot of effort. ‘efforts. Some students will therefore not take the ‘risk’ of doing without it.”
And success in all of this?
Dependence on an object can still end up devaluing our ability to do things for ourselves. He will realize that it is thanks to the time he has spent studying. On the other hand, he will maybe be afraid of not wearing your grigri during a future exam since everything went well during the first one.”
On the other hand, in case of failure, the young person will be more inclined to blame his lucky charm, especially if he was not wearing it that day. “If the pupil feels like they’ve done whatever to pass but still falls short, I think they’re more likely to associate their failure to the absence of a beauty.”