Why Do People Have Good Luck Charms?

Good luck charms may fall in the area of superstition, but many people believe good fortune might come their way if they possess one. Most objects that are considered lucky have earned this association from their place in historical events. For example, one theory about why horseshoes are considered lucky revolves around the idea that witches ride brooms because a horse would refuse to carry them; hence, a horseshoe above the door kept the witches out.

Another lucky charm with some notable historic roots is the four-leaf clover. This charm traces its luck back to Irish theology and the Christian religion. It is believed that a three-leaf clover represents the holy trinity, and therefore, to find a four-leaf clover represents the grace of God.

Another origin of the belief that four-leaf clovers are lucky dates back to Ireland's early days, when the Druids believed that carrying a three-leaf clover allowed them to see evil spirits approaching. A four-leaf clover was believed to bring good luck and offer magical protection.

Some people might decide an object is lucky because it has brought them good fortune in the past. When this occurs on one or more occasions, the person may begin believing that they are only lucky when the object is near. In psychology, this occurrence is linked to attribution theory.