Beliefs in being unlucky and deficits in executive functioning

John Maltby, Liz Day, Diana G. Pinto, Rebecca A. Hogan, Alex M. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The current paper proposes the Dysexecutive Luck hypothesis; that beliefs in being unlucky are associated with deficits in executive functioning. Four studies suggest initial support for the Dysexecutive Luck hypothesis via four aspects of executive functioning. Study 1 established that self-reports of dysexecutive symptoms predicted unique variance in beliefs in being unlucky after controlling for a number of other variables previously reported to be related to beliefs around luck. Studies 2 to 4 demonstrated support for the Dysexecutive Luck hypothesis via assessment of executive functioning via: (1) two fundamental executive functions (shifting and inhibition), (2) emotional processes related to executive functioning as described by the Somatic Marker hypothesis, and (3) higher executive functions as accessed via divergent thinking. The findings suggest that individuals' beliefs in being unlucky are accompanied by a range of deficits in executive functioning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-147
Number of pages11
JournalConsciousness and Cognition
Issue number1
Early online date22 Dec 2012
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Executive functioning
  • Luck
  • Shifting, Inhibition
  • Somatic Marker hypothesis


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