April 12, 2019 1:26 pm

Is Hoosli choir good luck for the Jets? Nope, but we love our superstitions anyway, says psych prof

St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington (50) stops the shot from Winnipeg Jets' Mark Scheifele (55) in the late seconds of third period NHL playoff action in Winnipeg on Wednesday, April 10, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
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A popular men’s choir will be front and centre Friday night at Bell MTS Place, with many hockey fans considering them a good luck charm for the team.

The Winnipeg Jets have been unbeaten every time the Hoosli Ukrainian Male Chorus have performed at the downtown arena.

According to a psychology professor, however, good-luck superstitions – which are popular in the sports world – don’t do much for anyone other than the individual fan, although it’s a different story entirely for athletes.

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READ MORE: Popular Ukrainian men’s choir returns to sing anthem at Friday’s Winnipeg Jets game

“What I do at home, if I have a lucky jersey, it’s not going to help me,” Don Saucier of Kansas State University told 680 CJOB.

“For the players, if it makes them more confident, there’s a possibility it’s going to help them make better plays, maybe be more comfortable playing with their teammates, and that kind of thing. From a psychological comfort standpoint, superstitions can be helpful.”

Saucier said part of the reason fans embrace superstitions is because it makes them feel like they have some control over the outcome of a game, and feel like they can play a part in a team’s victory.

“We think superstitions make a difference because we want to control our world,” he said.

“Unfortunately, our world is not very controllable. What we do is find comfort in anything that we think is going to lend more to our side of – in this case – the game.

“If you think the person singing the national anthem is going to make your team more likely to win, that makes you happier. You can feel part of the success…. it’s a really low-risk way for you to take part in the glory.”

Saucier said he’s done a number of interviews about superstitions over the years, and that he’s resigned to the fact that no matter what evidence is presented, most people stand by their ‘lucky’ traditions regardless.

“Superstitions have been around for millennia. We think the behaviours that we do affect later outcomes. Sometimes we’re right and sometimes we’re wrong, and we’ve been trying to do that throughout human history.

“We’re absolutely gullible and we’re very psychologically resilient.”

WATCH: Manitoba men’s chorus celebrates golden anniversary

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