Author: Nwankwo, O C
Date published: March 1, 2011
Ordinarily, luck entails event or experience that happens to an individual by chance. This connotes luck to mean an event that may not be influenced, especially by efforts or abilities. The focus of this study is therefore to explore the role efforts play in influencing luck. And the achievement implications, vis-à-vis parapsychology perception, of possible association between efforts and luck are also expounded.
Effort is the physical, mental, or attitudinal responses exhibited in order to create effect in the outcome of a goal. Therefore, effort is a purposeful behaviour. To a non-professional, effort is synonymous with attempts. An attempt is simply a trial action, while an effort is a well motivated, sustained, strategized and planned goal-directed trial. The efficacy of an attempt to lead to success is relative to the competency of the individual making the effort. This is because competency is the tasks, skills, attitude, and values that are deemed critical to success in life (Onuegbu, 2009). Competency therefore influences the motivation which in turn sustains effort that stimulates opportunity. And luck is inherently a manifestation of pleasing opportunity or even discouraging outcome.
Effective utilization of opportunity enhances achievement. Opportunities can be effectively utilized by making the appropriate efforts and committing the right resources as the need arises. Such actions serve as facilitators to the incidence of luck. Therefore, the notion, that luck is a paranormal phenomenon needs to be reappraised. The relationship between effort and luck can be traced to cognitive psychology that is concerned with all forms of cognition such as: Perception, memory, decision -making, thinking, attention, learning, problem-solving, language, etc. Consequently, luck which seemingly lies within the domain of parapsychology depends on the perception and thought processes ascribed to it. Individuals with achieving personality do not wait for luck, but work their ways to success and luck (Enumugwem, 2009). Such individuals perceive and think of luck as having been stimulated.
Objectives/ purpose of the study
This study has the following objectives it aims at achieving:
1 To curb the learned helplessness associated with believing in or waiting for luck;
2 To bring into limelight the perception that luck can be induced;
3 Explore the knowledge of parapsychology
4 Promote the perception of efforts as being purposeful for achievement;
5 Examine the power effectiveness of efforts in socio-human endeavours vis-à-vis luck, success, or failure.
6 Project behaviourism (science) into the field and study of parapsychology, etc.
Scope of the Study
The subject matter of the study has to do with efforts and luck as they correlate with achievement. This is an exploration of the knowledge of parapsychology. Advancement is made in this knowledge quest to put luck, which is an element of parapsychology, into scientific investigation. Effort is a purposeful action that involves perception of a goal, and taking decisions towards that goal. Therefore, a synthesis of cognitive-parapsychology is inevitable in the study.
Propositions: A null hypothesis and a research question served as propositions for the study. The hypothesis, which was tested at p<.05 stated that luck is significantly not a chance event, but an achieved resultant effect of goal-directed effort. The research question investigates whether luck is effort induced or chance event?
Data: The data for the study is of primary source. They were collected from the various Senior World Football games organized by the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) in South Africa from 11th June to 11th July 2010. The data were categorized into two. One category was for the efforts made to score goals by the various national teams in the matches. The efforts were accessed by the number of shots on target various paired national teams made at the goal-post. These shots on target were recorded from the computerized statistics that were presented for the viewers on the television screen in the course of the games or at the end of the games. The second category of the data was the resultant goals scored from these efforts (shots on target). The data were also accessed from the same television computerized statistics.
Design and Statistics: The design for the study was 2x2 observational design, in which the behaviours of the participating national teams were observed as they engaged in the natural and active playing of the football games. No manipulations of variables were involved. The 2 ? 2 arose from efforts from paired teams as well as their resultant paired scores.
The statistics employed to analyze the collected data was the Chi-square. The rationale was based on the fact that the data categories were mutually exclusive. The data also attained ordinal (counting) measurements. By implication, either that a short on target entered the post and was counted as a goal or its did not.
Procedure: The study was conducted using the FIFA Senior World Football game (tournament) held in South Africa between 1 1th June to 11th July, 2010. Shots on target (at the post) were measured as efforts to be successful (to be lucky) in the games, while the goals scored were measured as luck. The data for the shots on target and goals scored were obtained from the computerized television's on-the-screen statistics for every football match. As a football match involves a competition to score goals between to opponent teams, data were obtained from each team. This helped to categorize the data into that for teams category A and teams category B, from which efforts A and goals A, as well as efforts B and goals B were derived. The measurements corresponding to were done by counting the number of efforts (shorts on target/ goal post) made by each team, as well as the resultant goals from such efforts. Each match lasted for 9O+ minutes. However, when the two teams tie at the end of this period, the match would be extended to 120 minutes.
Control of Variables: The extraneous variables in the study were checked through quality control. By this, only the matches watched by the researcher for the whole time period (90 +minutes) were used for the study. Again, elimination was another control measure employed. In it, data were not collected from controversial matches, as regards the fairness and objectivity of the officiating. This helps to vouch the influence of efforts in achieving victory for a team.
The analyses of the collected data for the study are presented in the tables 1.1 and 1.2 below. They are from the Chi-square statistical analyses.
Table 1.1 above showed that for matches category A, 242 (59%) efforts were made as shots on target in order to score goals. These efforts resulted in 67 (64%) goal. On the other hand, for matches category B, 171 (41%) effort were made as shots on target in order to score goals. These efforts resulted in 37 (36%) goals. Consequently, more efforts were made in matches category A in order to scores than matches category B. These goals scored were taken as induced luck attributed to efforts made. Hence, in order to investigate whether actually the efforts made stimulated the goal luck, the association test of the table 1.2 below is conducted.
Analyses of the table 1.2 above showed that the ob served/ calculated value (1.1728) is lesser than the critical table value (3.84) at the significance level of P < .05. This accepted the null hypothesis that "luck is significantly not a chance event, but an achieved resultant effect of goal-directed effort". Again, the research question as regards whether luck is effort induced or chance event had been answered. The answer (finding) is that luck is effort induced. It is not a chance factor. By implication, there is a strong association between goal directed effort and the incidence of luck.
The study has found a striking association between effort and luck. By implication, effort induces luck. As noted earlier, effort is goal-directed. This shows that effort is a motivated behaviour. Consequently, effort is a sustainable and persistent response to be successful in an endeavour. There is no doubt that well motivated efforts lead to the trial of many opportunities of achieving success. In the events of such trials or attempts, targeted ambition may be attained or actualized directly or indirectly. This confirms the observation of Nwagbara (2009) that skills and efforts are fundamental to success.
From the study, several trails at scoring goals by shooting on the target usually gained goals (success). Occasionally, the consistency of such shots does put the receiving team on pressure or anxiety, thereby leading to uncoordinated responses. Under this situation, a mistake may occur that can cause the ball to enter the post. Instances of such mistakes may be own-goal, missed kick, poor defense, poor goal- keeping, etc. A goal that results from any of these mal-performances may be attributed to luck. Yet the goal is enhanced by the efforts from the so-called lucky side against the unlucky side. Table 1 . 1 has already shown that the teams (matches) category that made more efforts tends to score more goals. This shows that a well strategized, motivated, and sustained efforts influence the outcome of ambitions. And this contradicts the assertion of Adumbu (2009) that human beings are powerless to influence their destiny.
Effort is a purposeful behaviour to determine the future outcome of an event. Luck on the other is the chance outcome of a future event. Effort is basically goal-directed and intention focused. These give effort the quality of cognitive-behavioural psychology. The motive of effort is very definite. An individual making the effort has a choice as regards the outcome the person is striving for. Consequently, s/he can change the course of action, strategies and tactics if the targeted goal has been altered. Similarly, if an unintended outcome results from the effort, an individual can reinitiate and re-strategize the efforts with modified and improved techniques. For effort, luck is a worked-hope. Well motivated effort is therefore not interested in the possibility of defect (Ojiuzor, 2009).
Contrarily, luck has the quality of parapsychology. Individuals who pathologically depend on luck wait for any future outcome. This is characterized by lamely hope, as can be exhibited in déjà vu, and precognition. Déjà vu is the feeling of having been previously aware of what is presently happening, while precognition is the perception of information about future places or events before they occur. Those are hallucinations and imaginations which could instill creative insights into the genius and gifted individuals. To actualize this creativity, efforts and thinking have to be blended to achieve an outcome. Incidentally, when this outcome or any of it corresponds with the previously imagined or hoped-for outcome then an individual can claim déjà vu or precognition element of parapsychology. Undoubtedly, past history of sequence of events can be used to analyze and explain the future (Etebu, 2009). The analysis itself is an effort to understand the future and take possible action to influence the outcome of the future. By implication, today's efforts and actions determine the inherent luck of the future. Thus, luck is not a passive manifestation of an event, but an effort related outcome. Somebody is lucky to find money along the way because another person did not make enough effort to avoid losing money (were careless) .
PARAPSYCHOLOGY IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDING FOR ACHIEVEMENT
The finding of the study has made it very obvious that individuals can be achievers because of their efforts. The finding of the study is very invaluable to the less developed societies, with particular reference to Nigeria, where belief systems like superstition, faith, divination, etc. are accepted as factors that influence luck. The dimension of this belief system is that it could inhibit individual from taking positive and proactive ambitions to improve the quality of their situations (Edogiawerie, 2009).
The finding of the study has a plausible implication for locus of control. The variable of effort is synonymous with internal locus of control, in which individual believe that they are not passive respondents to situations. Rather, individuals can act in ways that influence their experiences. This happens when individuals are able to mobilize adequate cognitive and non-cognitive aspects of functioning (Egboka, Ofojebe, and Onuselogu, 2009) to face challenges. On the other hand, luck is synonymous with external locus of control, in which people believe that they can not influence their life experiences. Under this situation, individuals assume passive recipients of experiences.
Effort is very significant in facilitating achievement. Even though luck plays a contributory part in achievement, the finding of the study has proved that effort stimulates luck. Therefore, the attitude of learned helplessness that individuals occasionally develop as panacea to difficult challenges is a functional problem. It arises from irrational perception of challenges, and poor coping strategies to anxiety-provoking awareness. Possibly, the ineffectiveness of the Nigerian capacity-building institutions (Udida, and Udey, 2009) and socialization agencies to inculcate skills, competency and general empowerment for embracing and enhancing achievements has influenced the people to engage in pseudo perception like luck as an alternative to effort.
The study investigated the role of effort in stimulating luck. A discourse was also made on the parapsychology implications of the finding for achievement. The finding of the study is that luck is not a chance event, but effort-induced. Therefore, the manifestations of some elements of parapsychology could be explained to originate from the simulation of imagination. Imagination is essentially an effort in form of a thought process. Cognitive activities as dimensions of efforts nurture ideas. Actually, the world is characterized by unlimited ideas, potential, and possibilities. These play significant roles in creativity and knowledge management. In making efforts to conquer the universe, some of the possibilities could be unlocked. And some of them may still be mysterious and fallacious.
From the knowledge of the study, the following recommendations are proffered.
It is recommended that (1) people should depend more on efforts, and less on luck in whatever they do. This is because the outcome of efforts is relatively more certain than the outcome of luck. And individuals have more choice opportunities in effort than in luck.
Again, it is recommended that (2) individuals should not give up making efforts when the outcome/ results of their efforts are below the desired or not desired at all. They need to re-strategize methods, tactics, and general motivation.
Similarly, (3) there is the need to support hope with effort. The chance of positive outcome is slim when hope is the only reinforcement to expectation. Efforts serve as enabler to hope.
Furthermore, (4) there is the need to relinquish the general relics of pseudo behavioural practices in our society, which inhibit sustainable efforts towards achievement. This will help a lot in channeling the Nigeria society towards the path of achievement oriented, through the belief in ability, efforts, competency, skills, and other socio-personality capacity and resources.
In the same vein, (5) more studies are suggested in parapsychology. This will help bring into focus many behaviour modifications, counselling techniques, and other psychological knowledge-management that are associated with paranormal experiences.
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Nwankwo, O. C (M. Sc, LL.B, B.L. PNM, MIRDI),
Division of General Studies
Anambra State University
Ugokwe-Ossai, I. (Ph.D) & Nweke, C. C (Ph.D., FCAI, FRHID,
Department of Psychology,
Nnamdi Azikiwe University,