Touch wood: Bad luck feeling can be reversed, new study suggests.

Scientists crack code to stop bad luck
Bad luck omen: Concerns after tempting fate can be conquered, a new study suggests (Picture: Alamy / File)
Do you have a habit of running into black cats or walking under ladders?
From breaking a mirror to opening an umbrella indoors, there are dozens of bad luck pitfalls for superstitious sorts to avoid on a daily basis.
But it appears that lingering fear of bad luck heading your way can be reversed by carrying out a ritual like touching wood or throwing salt, a new study suggests.
Scientists found that elevated concerns about bad fortune among participants were reversed through movements that involve pushing force away.
They found those who performed actions such as touching wood or throwing a ball away helped reduce negative expectations generated by tempting fate.
‘Our findings suggest that not all actions to undo a jinx are equally effective,’ explained Dr Jane Risen from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.
‘Instead, we find that avoidant actions that exert force away from one’s representation of self are especially effective for reducing the anticipated negative consequences following a jinx.
‘Engaging in an avoidant action seems to create the sense that the bad luck is being pushed away.’
It could be time to take down that lucky horseshoe. reports.