A new study shows good luck charms--like baseball player Jason Giambi's lucky thong--can improve athletic performance, the New York Times reports.
Researchers in the psych department at Germany's University of Cologne conducted a series of experiments designed to determine if good-luck superstitions work, like Giambi's gold thong, Michael Jordan's UNC shorts, or a golfer's need to kiss the ball before a put. The answer?
“Activating a good-luck superstition leads to improved performance by boosting people’s belief in their ability to master a task,” the researchers wrote. Of course, innate talent and hard training don't hurt either.