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commented on Aug. 30, 2014
We usually think of luck as something which is inherently beyond our control; as something which happens to us irrespective of any effort, merit, or planning on our part. But those who say that we make our own luck may actually be onto something. The documentary "The Experiments: The Secret of Luck", hosted by Derren Brown, shows just how powerfully our expectations and attitude can influence our luck in life. In the documentary, Derren instigates a false rumour about a lucky statue of a dog in the cemetery of an English village. A few curious villagers go to visit the "lucky" dog statue to see if it brings them luck, and their positive reports fuel the rumour, which in turn encourages more villagers to pay the statue a visit for good luck. This creates a positive (in more ways than one!) feedback loop of expectation and experiences of good luck throughout the village community.
The documentary also follows particular villagers who consider themselves to be lucky or unlucky, and runs some fascinating tests which show how these people's expectations about their luck causes them to both perceive and act in ways which bring them the kind of luck they expect. For example, a man who considers himself unlucky simply does not see a 50 pound note planted in his path while walking down the street, while a woman who considers herself lucky makes more of an effort to help a couple with a flat tyre (the couple are actors) and ends up reaping a big gain for her pub business because of a contact that she makes from talking with the couple.
Overall the documentary does a brilliant job of illustrating how communal reinforcement, individual expectations, confirmation bias and openness to experiences and social interaction with others can in fact have a huge effect on how lucky we are in life. It shows how luck is very much influenced by the power of suggestion, that luck is indeed one of those things where we can 'fake it till we make it'. I highly recommend you watch the full documentary, available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4mN33w5Ftw