Are Philly Fans Magical?

Are Philly Fans Magical?
February 6, 2007, 5:16 am
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Science says: No.

A very interesting article in the Washington Post takes a look at how fans believe they're thinking is somehow responsible for their teams actions.  A psychologist at Princeton University observed a group of die hard Eagles fans before, during, and after their Super Bowl loss two years ago.

At the end of the game, which the Eagles lost, Pronin asked each fan a simple question: How responsible did the person feel for Philadelphia’s defeat? “Rationally, you should not feel responsible at all for the outcome of the Super Bowl,” Pronin said. “But the more people perceived themselves as having thought about the game, the more they thought themselves responsible for the game’s outcome.”

A sports event such as the Super Bowl is a perfect venue to examine a phenomenon that influences many aspects of life: Large numbers of people regularly display signs of magical thinking – they believe they have influenced distant events or can sense connections between things that have no known physical connection.

And you know how you thought Andy's poor clock management was your fault?  It wasn't.  It was my Uncle Joe's, because he stole the seat i was sitting in the whole first half of the Super Bowl.  That was my lucky seat.  The second he took my spot on the couch I got sick.  And so did Donovan.

I'll forgive, Uncle Joe, but I'll never forget.

>>A game of magical thinking leaves reality on the sidelines [Washington Post]

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