While many people in contemporary society dismiss fortune and superstition as complete nonsense, no one–not even scientists–can free themselves from it entirely, as numerous beliefs are so deeply established in our culture. With the following research, we have taken a look at the prevalence of superstitious beliefs in Great Britain. For the first time, a FORTUNE ATLAS has been created, showing in which parts of the country the belief in four-leaf clovers for good luck, and anxiety about broken mirrors, lone magpies and bird poo for bad luck is most prevalent.
The map was made possible through professional analysis of big data – in this case so-called trend data – captured through popular social media platforms and internet search queries, among other things.
Superstitious Metropolises and the Enlightened English Countryside
Glasgow turns out as the most superstitious county around Great Britain. Many Scots still rely on lucky white heather and fear the birth of a black-faced sheep. Twelve of the 20 most superstitious counties are located in Scotland. At the other end of the spectrum, the least superstitious county in Great Britain is also in Scotland: Banffshire.
Surprisingly, deep beliefs in phenomena that cannot be explained are more common in bigger cities. London is 81 percent more superstitious than the average, Liverpool is 69 percent above, Manchester is 43 percent above, and also cities like Birmingham, Leeds and Edinburgh show tendency towards superstitious beliefs.
Meanwhile, people in widely rural areas like Norfolk, Warwickshire, Suffolk and West Sussex are among the least interested in fortune nationwide. In fact, eleven of the 18 least superstitious countries are located in the countryside of England.
Superstitions and lucky charms are rarely talked about, yet many people have their personal rituals and the superstition that these bring luck. These are not always used in everyday life, but only in special situations, like an important exam at school, a football match, a horse race, the lottery draw, or for a job interview.
Superstitious Westminster: Parliament Seeking Help From Divine Forces
According to the data, interest in fortune and superstitious beliefs is significantly higher in the London borough that is home to the British parliament. In fact, Westminster is 220 percent more superstitious than the national average, and is also the most superstitious borough in Greater London.
The Strengths and Weaknesses of Believing in Fortune
In situations where something is important but people lack control, the more likely they are to rely on superstition and talismans. Through a belief in fortune and lucky charms, men and women alike hope to regain some control and be able to influence the outcome after all. This can certainly work, as the example of exams show: a lucky charm may lead to better results, because the excitement and anxiety is reduced and individuals therefore feel more confident.
Unfortunately, there can also be downsides if superstition is exaggerated. For example, people with gambling addiction and problems often show a connection to superstition. Instead of stopping, relying on lucky charms can cause more and more losses until it is too late. High risks also arise if dangerous decisions are made out of superstitious beliefs alone ignoring other signals and disregarding other facts.
How This Data on Superstition Was Collected
All data was collected by Rascasse, an AI-driven consumer insights platform on behalf of bestcasinosites.net. The provider maps interests in more than 275,000 topics by analysing likes on digital platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and search behaviour on Google and Bing, and streaming activity on YouTube and Spotify.
In the case of the study “The most superstitious Brits and where they live” interest around the keywords superstition and fortune were collected and mapped as well as analysed by professional data analysts. On average, 3.49 percent of British internet users left data points indicating that they were interested in aspects related to superstition or lucky charms. The classification into least, slightly, rather and most superstitious was derived from the national average.