Does "luck" exist in the real world, or is it just a result of human traits?

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Main topic: Humanities
Other topics: Luck
Short answer: If there is such a thing as luck, then some characteristics of a person's position must be more favorable to enhancing one's moral standing than others. In the event that the arguments against are unable to eradicate the issue of constitutive moral luck, they should at the very least be able to provide us with some reasons to worry about it less as a backup position. It is more accurate to state that it is a consequence of human characteristics.

One may only consider a condition of things to be fortunate if it is one of the numerous potential states of affairs, the individual does not have control over whether or not it occurs, and the individual has a reason to prefer it over the other possible states of events. Even if magical ideas, such as the belief in luck and precognition, are probably shared by people all over the world, the degree to which such beliefs are adhered to most certainly varies from culture to culture. Researchers have found that cultural influences and the impacts of demographic factors, were important predictors of beliefs on luck and precognition. In point of fact, when the culture was included in demographic models, the amount of variation in luck and foresight beliefs that could be explained almost quadrupled.[1]


Debate about luck in psychological and philosophical circles of research[edit]

The idea of luck has been at the center of a number of contemporary debates, both in psychological and philosophical circles of research. The latter has a tendency to analyze this idea in light of two related disputes in ethics and the theory of knowledge over the supposed existence of, respectively, moral luck and epistemic luck. These discussions concern the question of whether or not moral luck and epistemic luck exist. In contrast, studies of luck in psychology have evolved to be of a more empirical character, and have entailed looking at the way in which chance affects our perception of both events and individuals. This finding should not come as a surprise.[2]

The philosophy of luck[edit]

The majority of philosophical debates on chance have concentrated on the concept's applicability to problems in ethics and, to a lesser extent, epistemology. This is because ethics and epistemology are closely related to one another. There is a concern that there are morally significant consequences of activities that are due to chance, and that this weakens our moral responsibility for those actions. Specifically, the issue is that there are morally relevant outcomes of our actions that are due to luck.[3]

Therefore, we are in the precarious position of having to either completely give up the aim of developing a luck-free system of moral evaluation or else make significant adjustments to the moral intuitions that we now hold.[4]

The psychology of luck[edit]

The majority of the recent research on luck that has been published in the field of psychology has been conducted in the context of something that is referred to as "attribution research." This field of study is concerned with the manner in which individuals construct inferences for why events occurred, such as the actions of individuals. Researchers in the field of psychology have investigated the circumstances in which individuals are most likely to see an occurrence as being the result of chance.[5]

When the resulting environmental force in the route of the objective is at its highest, or when the force away from it is at its smallest, a person is said to have succeeded as a consequence of the good luck that was bestowed upon them. When this occurs, success is said to be the result of luck. There are two inferences that may be drawn from this: the first is that the individual is not the primary factor in determining the outcome, but rather the environmental circumstances are, and the second is that these environmental variables are the result of random occurrences.[6]

Significance of luck in science[edit]

According to science, luck is one's level of success or failure determined through chance than by abilities or efforts. There can be distinct meanings that may be ascribed to luck, and both are contingent on how one understands the word "seemingly" that is used in this description. Below is the major type of lucks:

Blind luck exists more than other luck[edit]

If anything happens by total and utter chance, it is said to be blind luck. It is complete and utter luck that we had nothing to do with bringing it about. The best example can be winning a lottery.[7]

Luck helps in recognizing good fortune[edit]

The possibility of an opportunity exists, but it will be missed by everyone other than the one individual who is especially well-suited to see it, mentally understand it, and completely comprehend its importance. Chance simply provides a stray hint of what may be possible. It requires a unique receptivity, discernment, and intuitive understanding of the meaning that is only capable of being possessed by one specific receiver. The accumulation of all of your one-of-a-kind information, experiences, and abilities led to the formation of that worldview. It's possible that other people saw the same chance as well, but they were unable to acknowledge it because they did not understand the importance of it. It forces every entrepreneur to come up with a company idea that provides her firm with an edge that isn't fair to other companies.[8]

Lucks provides a directed motion[edit]

It makes it possible for human beings to experience good fortune precisely as a result of the path in which they choose to proceed. If there is somebody moving in that direction due to anything that is unique to them, whether it be their expertise, their experiences, or their viewpoint, it is important to understand why they are doing so. As they get closer and closer to becoming experts, they will establish a reputation for themselves due to the manner in which they carry out their work. If a person is able to develop a loyal following of delighted customers, he will naturally attract an increasing amount of business from farther afield. In addition to this, he will progress further and further down the path to becoming the "best" in the world at what they do.[9]

Significance of luck as a human trait[edit]

It is possible that a person's belief in good luck, as well as the notion that it is a personal quality, plays a significant impact on the conduct of human behavior. This view might drive humans to have an illogical expectation to win and to over-generalize their psychological feeling of control. And upward hypothetical thinking has been thought of as an element that might operate as a counterbalance to such unreasonable beliefs. The impacts of believing in good luck and engaging in upward counterfactual thinking have been investigated in several research topics to see how they affect human behavior, especially of gamblers.[10]

One of the cognitive mistakes that might lead to gambling addiction is the perception that luck is a personal and inherent quality. The findings suggest that this way of thinking could have an effect on gambling. On the other hand, given the significant role that upward parallel thinking plays in the reduction of cognitive mistakes, it has the potential to operate as a resilience factor against the development of gambling addiction.[11]


  1. Teigen, Karl Halvor (2014), Michalos, Alex C. (ed.), "Luck", Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research, Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands, pp. 3731–3733, doi:10.1007/978-94-007-0753-5_1712, ISBN 978-94-007-0753-5, retrieved 2022-10-10
  2. Adam Carter, J.; Pritchard, Duncan; Shepherd, Joshua (2019-12-01). "Knowledge-how, Understanding-why and Epistemic Luck: an Experimental Study". Review of Philosophy and Psychology. 10 (4): 701–734. doi:10.1007/s13164-018-0429-9. ISSN 1878-5166.
  3. "The Philosophy of Luck | Wiley". Retrieved 2022-10-10.
  4. Pritchard, Duncan; Smith, Matthew (2004-04-01). "The psychology and philosophy of luck". New Ideas in Psychology. 22 (1): 1–28. doi:10.1016/j.newideapsych.2004.03.001. ISSN 0732-118X.
  5. Oksman, Olga (2016-07-25). "The psychology of luck: how superstition can help you win". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2022-10-10.
  6. "The Psychology of Luck". Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise. Retrieved 2022-10-10.
  7. "The Four Kinds of Luck - Definitions, Examples, and More - How To Make A Habit of Getting "Lucky"". Wealest. Retrieved 2022-10-10.
  8. "Does Lady Luck exist or do you make your own luck? | Aeon Essays". Aeon. Retrieved 2022-10-10.
  9. Ranadive, Ameet (2016-12-08). "The Four Kinds of Luck". Medium. Retrieved 2022-10-10.
  10. Kaufman, Scott Barry. "The Role of Luck in Life Success Is Far Greater Than We Realized". Scientific American Blog Network. Retrieved 2022-10-10.
  11. Lihhatsov, Dmitri (2018-11-21). "7 Traits of Lucky People". Smart&Nimble. Retrieved 2022-10-10.