Do the happy-go-lucky?

Edmund Thompson, G P Prendergast, Gerard H Dericks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (SciVal)


While popular aphorisms and etymologies across diverse languages suggest an intrinsic association between happiness and luck beliefs, empirically testing the existence of any potential link has historically been constrained by varying and unclear conceptualizations of luck beliefs and by their sub-optimally valid measurement. Employing Thompson and Prendergast’s (2013) bi-dimensional refinement of trait luck beliefs into, respectively, belief in luck and belief in personal luckiness, we explore the relationship between luck beliefs and a range of trait happiness measures. Our analyses (N=844) find broadly that happiness is negatively associated with Belief in Luck, but positively associated with Belief in Personal Luckiness, although results differ somewhat depending on which measure of happiness is used. We further explore interrelationships between luck beliefs and the five-factor model of personality, finding this latter fully accounts for belief in luck’s negative association with happiness, with additional analyses indicating this is wholly attributable to Neuroticism alone: Neuroticism appears to be a possible mediator of Belief in Luck’s negative association with happiness. We also find the five-factor model only partially attenuates Belief in Personal Luckiness’ positive association with happiness, suggesting that belief in personal luckiness may be either a discrete facet of trait happiness or personal trait in and of itself.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-40
JournalCurrent Psychology
Early online date6 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


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