The Value of Superstitions During a Recession

Experimental psychologist Bruce Hood looks at a study in which:

Travis Ng and colleagues investigated the value of Hong Kong car number plates purchased through auction from 1997 to 2009 and found that an ordinary four-digit plate with one extra lucky “8” was sold 63.5 percent higher on average. An extra unlucky “4” by contrast diminished the average four-digit plate value by 11 percent. In Cantonese the number “8” rhymes with “prosperity” whereas the number “4” sounds like the word for “death.” Moreover the fluctuations in the prices of lucky and unlucky plates mirrored the economic fluctuations with unlucky numbers dropping the most during recessions.

Category: Observations

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