People who believe in "manifesting" to "cosmically attract" success are more likely to go bankrupt, science shows

Originally published at: People who believe in "manifesting" to "cosmically attract" success are more likely to go bankrupt, science shows | Boing Boing


‘Think positive…’ then do the metric fuckton of work that it takes to make your goal come into fruition.


Do people still want to “become famous”?

Being famous seems like a huge hassle

“Know what would make my life better? Stalkers!”


But, but the people selling the books are so successful! How can both be true at the same time?

- person who doesn’t understand grifting, suckers.


So the Law of Attraction has been scientifically proven to attract something?


I’ve met a few folks into this stuff. I always assumed it was just massive naivete. Like folks who never realized/learned about visualization before. Like visualizing what you actually want and thinking about it before you go after it. I think this is step 1 in the whole manifest whatever BS… but you know it’s also a good very first step in achieving most any goal. They start small with easy things then have some misguided belief that merely visualizing something is enough or 99%.

Then reality catches up on them.


Another possibility is that people develop stronger belief in manifestation after they have had experiences with get-rich-quick schemes or having been bankrupt.

AKA - “double down”.


I had someone argue that well, you had to have this strong desire to be successful in order for it to happen, but my rejoinder was: you have to do a metric fuckton of work and get very lucky for that visualization to turn into actual success, but if you do all that work and have the necessary luck, it really doesn’t matter what your mental state was…


“If you trust in yourself. . .and believe in your dreams. . .and follow your star. . . you’ll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren’t so lazy.”

― Terry Pratchett, The Wee Free Men


It feels delightful that this study exists. Wondering if there are similar ones, and what conclusions they found.

1 Like

I started the journal article, but I only got as far as the words “TikTok Manifestation Coach” when I had to go rinse my mouth out.


I think few people truly want to be A-list actor-, music performer- or athlete-famous. But thousands and thousands would love to be best-selling novelist, exhibiting artist, or professional coaching staff famous.
Scalzi has said he likes being famous enough to go to conventions to be feted and fawned over, but anonymous enough to go to Kroger for a loaf of bread where not a soul gives a shit.


My father was a deep believer in metaphysics and manifestation his entire life and held unwavering support that he could manifest success just by meditation up until the day he died…broke and alone.

It’s hard to talk about because he was an incredibly intelligent man and so strongly believed that he had unlocked ‘special powers’ in his mind that it lead him to 3 divorces, estrangement from family for decades and blowing through almost $2 million dollars of personal wealth with risky investments until he was entirely destitute. I ended up paying for his funeral.

It’s not naivety…more like cult programming that can be very seductive to some personality types who are always looking for life’s shortcuts.

Let’s just say I have very personal experiences with this subject.


Reminds me a lot of an It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia episode where they do vision boards…


(Mod Note: rapidly moving gif)

Douglas__Spacestar Ordering__245x172


That includes grifters born with a silver spoon in their mouths, who somehow manage to let a casino resort go belly-up.

Of course, anyone pushing this victim-blaming woo is already morally bankrupt by definition.


I’m not sure exactly what sort of data slicing would allow this; but it would be fascinating to know what, if any, relationship there is between belief in ‘manifesting’ based success mechanisms, overall perception of agency, and actual level of ambient social mobility/opportunity.

Are the intensity of belief in success through positive thinking and success through hard work or other concrete measures just unrelated? Is there an overall level of belief in agency that can, um, manifest differently depending on how well matched it is with the actual amount of opportunity available(with people who simply have low perception of agency not necessarily latching on to either branch very hard; and people with high perceptions of agency believing in the efficacy of action in high-opportunity contexts and shifting to enthusiasm for ‘manifesting’ in low-opportunity ones)?


A bit more than a. Six times. Maybe 5, depends whether one was only a hotel, not sure.


I have zero sympathy. I’ve met these people, and they use their “power of positive thinking” to feel superior and enlightened over anyone who doesn’t share their magical worldview.


Fools, money, parted soon.