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Article

Stephen Pratt and Pia Kwan

Different cultures believe that some numbers are “lucky” and other numbers are “unlucky”. The purpose of this paper is to determine to what extent hotels follow…

Abstract

Purpose

Different cultures believe that some numbers are “lucky” and other numbers are “unlucky”. The purpose of this paper is to determine to what extent hotels follow numerological superstitions in their floor and room numbering, if more accidents or complaints occur on unlucky hotel floors compared to other floors and if more accidents or complaints occur in unlucky hotel rooms compared to other rooms.

Design/methodology/approach

For the first research objective, an audit of hotels in a particular destination, Hong Kong, is taken capturing the number of floors and rooms on each floor and determining if “unlucky” numbers are used. For the second and third objectives, the accident and complaint database of one upscale hotel in Hong Kong across a five-year period is investigated.

Findings

The authors find that hotels do follow superstitious numbering, with “unlucky” numbers not being included in floor or room numbering. Chinese superstition is more likely to be followed than Western superstition. The non-inclusion of “unlucky” numbers is more likely for hotel floors than for hotel rooms. In the case study hotel, they found no significant differences in the number of accidents and complaints between unlucky and other rooms and floors across the five years of analysis.

Originality/value

Superstitions surrounding numbers can affect decisions made by individuals and businesses and can have significant economic consequences. There is little academic research into how the hotel sector is impacted by numerology superstitions.

Details

International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6182

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Book part

Peter T. Leeson and Paola A. Suarez

This paper investigates the relationship between superstition and self-governance. We argue that at least some superstitions, and perhaps many, support self-governing…

Abstract

This paper investigates the relationship between superstition and self-governance. We argue that at least some superstitions, and perhaps many, support self-governing arrangements. The relationship between such scientifically false beliefs and private institutions is symbiotic and socially productive. This simple but overlooked observation may help explain the emergence and otherwise puzzling persistence of both superstitions and “spontaneous” orders that seem perverse or dysfunctional, as well as why these two phenomena are often found together.

Details

New Thinking in Austrian Political Economy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-137-8

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Article

Michael Mayo and Michael Mallin

The present study is a “first look” at sales superstitions with the purpose of establishing its prevalence among professional salespeople and examining the subsequent…

Abstract

Purpose

The present study is a “first look” at sales superstitions with the purpose of establishing its prevalence among professional salespeople and examining the subsequent effects on sales person expected confidence, motivation, sales call behavioral intentions, and anticipated performance outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

Data was collected from 234 industrial (business to business) salespeople. SmartPLS path modeling was used to test a model consisting of three antecedents and three outcomes of salesperson superstitious behavior intensity.

Findings

The findings reveal that salespeople are more likely to behave superstitiously when they believe in personal good luck and experience higher levels of role ambiguity. For these salespeople, outcomes such as expected increase in confidence and motivation, positive sales behavioral intentions, and performance outcomes were anticipated as a result of their superstitions.

Research limitations/implications

Social cognitive theory is used as an organizing framework to guide this review as well as to develop a model that describes the conditions that give rise to sales superstitions and its potential impact on expected sales confidence, motivation, call behavioral intentions, and anticipated performance outcomes.

Originality/value

Given the paucity of reports on sales superstitions, the present study extrapolates from other allied literatures to identify antecedents and consequences associated with engaging in superstitious behavior.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 29 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article

Michael Rehm, Shuzhen Chen and Olga Filippova

Numerical superstition is well-known in Asian countries and can influence decision-making in many markets, from financial investment to purchasing a house. This study aims…

Abstract

Purpose

Numerical superstition is well-known in Asian countries and can influence decision-making in many markets, from financial investment to purchasing a house. This study aims to determine the house price effects of superstition and understand if these have changed over time.

Design/methodology/approach

Using sales transactions of freestanding houses in Auckland, New Zealand, the authors use hedonic price analysis to investigate whether superstitious beliefs associated with lucky and unlucky house numbers affect property values.

Findings

The analysis reveals ethnic Chinese buyers in Auckland displayed superstitious home buying behaviour in the period 2003-2006 by attributing value to homes with street addresses starting or ending with the lucky number eight. However, this willing to pay higher prices for lucky numbers was not reflected in the analysis of 2011-2015 sales transactions. The disappearance of superstition price effects may indicate that ethnic Chinese in the Auckland housing market have, over time, assimilated New Zealand’s Western culture and have become less superstitious.

Originality/value

Unlike previous studies, the authors parse buyers into two populations of homebuyers, ethnic Chinese and non-Chinese purchasers, and model the two groups’ housing transactions independently to more accurately establish if numerical superstition influences house prices.

Details

International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8270

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Article

Jeremy J. Sierra, Michael R. Hyman, Byung-Kwan Lee and Taewon Suh

– The purpose of this paper is to advance the understanding of antecedents and consequences of superstitious beliefs.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to advance the understanding of antecedents and consequences of superstitious beliefs.

Design/methodology/approach

From survey data drawn from 206 South Korean and 218 US respondents, structural equation modeling is used to test the posited hypotheses.

Findings

To extrinsic superstitious beliefs, both the South Korean and US models support the subjective happiness through self-esteem path and the anthropomorphism path; from these beliefs, both models support the horoscope importance path and the behavioral superstitious beliefs path. Only the US model supports the path from self-esteem to extrinsic superstitious beliefs, and only the South Korean model supports the path from intrinsic religiosity to extrinsic superstitious beliefs.

Research limitations/implications

South Korean and US student data may limit generalizability. As effect sizes in this context are established, researchers have a benchmark for future quantitative superstition research.

Practical implications

By further understanding antecedents and consequences of superstitious beliefs, marketers are in a better position to appeal to targeted customers. Anthropomorphism and intrinsic religiosity, not fully studied by marketing scholars, show promise as segmentation variables related to consumers’ attitudes and behaviors.

Social implications

To avoid unethical practice, marketers must limit themselves to innocuous superstition cues.

Originality/value

Leaning on experiential consumption theory and the “magical thinking” literature, this study augments the superstition literature by exploring carefully selected yet under-researched determinants and consequences of superstitious beliefs across eastern and western consumer groups.

Details

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. 27 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

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Article

Yong Jian Wang, Monica D. Hernandez, Michael S. Minor and Jie Wei

The purpose of this study is to explore the role of various superstitious beliefs in consumers' information processing and evaluation of brand logos.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore the role of various superstitious beliefs in consumers' information processing and evaluation of brand logos.

Design/methodology/approach

When consumers encounter a brand logo without actually experiencing the company's offerings, superstition may be deployed to fill the void of the unknown to evaluate the brand logo and judge the benefits from the offerings represented by the brand. Multiple regression analysis was used to investigate the relationship between consumers' brand logo sensitivity and a number of antecedental superstition beliefs.

Findings

The results indicate that consumers' belief in fate has a negative effect on brand logo sensitivity, and consumers' belief in fortune‐tellers, belief in magic and fictional figures, belief in lucky charms, and belief in superstitious rituals have positive effects on brand logo sensitivity, respectively.

Research limitations/implications

From a consumer perspective, the authors' findings reveal that the more positive attitude consumers have towards a company's visual identity system, the more favorable brand image consumers have toward the company and its offerings.

Practical implications

Marketers should study and understand consumer superstition when attempting to build consumer‐friendly, culturally‐robust, and trouble‐free brands in the marketplace. Managerial implications and corporate branding strategies are suggested to avoid branding pitfalls and maximize brand equity in the consumer market.

Originality/value

The study offers a non‐traditional approach to explaining consumer‐based brand image and brand equity.

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Book part

Lynn Wood Mollenauer

Through an analysis of the French crown's investigation into the greatest scandal of Louis XIV's reign, this article examines the unstable boundary between sin and crime…

Abstract

Through an analysis of the French crown's investigation into the greatest scandal of Louis XIV's reign, this article examines the unstable boundary between sin and crime at the height of the Catholic Reformation in France. The prosecution of the suspects in the Affair of the Poisons, it argues, allowed a key change in the French state's definition of crime. In 1682, the crown decriminalized magic. It continued to prosecute “so-called magicians,” however, because their practices were deemed sacrilegious. Any person convicted of “treason against God” was therefore sentenced to the most severe form of execution inflicted under French law: to be burnt alive. Louis XIV's determination to ensure social order and religious orthodoxy was made manifest in the state's rituals of punishment.

Details

Crime and Punishment: Perspectives from the Humanities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-245-0

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Abstract

Details

Documents from F. Taylor Ostrander at Oxford, John R. Commons' Reasonable Value
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84663-906-7

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Article

Donata Tania Vergura

The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether gambler’s cognitive errors affect gambling involvement and addiction. As the popularity of gambling has grown…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether gambler’s cognitive errors affect gambling involvement and addiction. As the popularity of gambling has grown, questions are being raised about its excessive use and factors related to addictive behaviours.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey on 508 gamblers was conducted. Structural equation modelling was used to investigate the relationships among gambling beliefs, gambling involvement and problem gambling.

Findings

Among the three sets of erroneous beliefs investigated, luck and superstition were significant predictors of both gambling involvement and the severity of gambling problems (according to the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI)), while the illusion of control showed a negative relationship with the PGSI. Moreover, gambling involvement positively affected the potential risk of disease and mediates the relationship between luck and superstition and PGSI.

Research limitations/implications

Because not all cognitive dimensions apparently influence gambling behaviour, future research should extend the analysis to include other variables that may moderate or mediate the causal relationship.

Practical implications

The results are useful to marketers in developing social marketing campaigns wishing to discourage gambling. Moreover, factors that influence gambling involvement and addiction may be used as diagnostic tools to correct gamblers behaviour.

Originality/value

The paper proposes a deeper exploration of the relationships among beliefs, gambling involvement and dysfunctional gambling and an appropriate scale to capture the entire spectrum of gambler’s beliefs in relation to every form of gambling activity.

Details

Journal of Social Marketing, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6763

Keywords

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Article

William R. Freudenburg, Scott Frickel and Rachel E. Dwyer

Examines the debate over “Higher superstition” (Gross and Levitt, 1994). Puts forward the arguments in the book and the response to the book from members of the US science…

Abstract

Examines the debate over “Higher superstition” (Gross and Levitt, 1994). Puts forward the arguments in the book and the response to the book from members of the US science and technology studies community. Asserts that increases in technical control have been at the expense of social and individual control. Mentions “diversionary reframing” – changing the subject, possibly by diverting attention away from the subject matter to the person doing the criticizing. Explores public attitudes towards science and technology, quoting a number of layman approaches to the bafflement of science. Identifies the irony in Gross and Levitt’s arguments, particularly in developing the interface between science and technology. Recommends paying more attention to the social construction of beliefs.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 18 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

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