Study: It Pays to Acknowledge Your Good Luck

Jul 25, 2016

Credit angeladellatorr / Flickr Creative Commons

A recent study by a Cornell economist has found that the more you acknowledge good fortune, the better off you are.

As Quartz.com reports, successful people who believe they made it entirely on their own are almost certainly mistaken. Every path to success is marked by teamwork and innumerable bits of good luck. It doesn’t generally pay off to not acknowledge those who have helped you along the way, says Robert Frank.

To prove it, Frank asked two groups of subjects to read contrasting versions of an interview with a “highly successful biotechnology entrepreneur.” In one version, the businessman attributed his success to hard work. In the other, he acknowledged his good luck. Subjects who read the luck version were significantly more favorably disposed toward Johnson than those who read the version in which he emphasized his exceptional skill.

Frank concluded that it’s in your interest to acknowledge luck’s role in your success. People will think better of you for having done so.