The Secret to Michael Jordan's Success: Lucky Underwear

Michael Jordan won six NBA championships, five MVP awards, and set the record for average points per game over the course of his professional basketball career. So, what was the secret to his success: hard work, raw talent ... or the lucky undershorts he wore since his days on the University of North Carolina team?

A recent study examined the effect of lucky objects on athletic performance:

The conclusion from these combined experiments was fairly obvious. "Activating a good-luck superstition," the authors wrote, "leads to improved performance by boosting people's belief in their ability to master a task." More precisely, they added, "the present findings suggest that it may have been the well-balanced combination of existing talent, hard training and good luck-underwear that made Michael Jordan perform as well as he did."

Read the full story at the New York Times.

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Eleanor Barkhorn is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

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