Like Mike: Ability contagion through touched objects increases confidence and improves performance
Thomas Kramer & Lauren Block
Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, July 2014, Pages 215–228
Abstract: Magical thinking refers to irrational peculiar beliefs, including those that conform to the laws of contagion. We propose that touching an object that was previously touched by a high performer increases confidence via magical thinking (ability contagion) and improves actual performance among individuals high in experiential processing. A series of studies provides support for this main proposition. Our results cast doubt on an alternative explanation based on priming, and are obtained controlling for participants’ level of rational processing, motivation, and affect.