math and stats

How Gamblers Try – And Fail – To Beat The System

Human tendency to seek patterns leads to misperception of randomness.

Habitual gamblers are more likely to believe they see patterns in random sequences of events, and to act on that belief, than the general population, according to new research.

Wolfgang Gaissmaier, a psychologist at the University of Konstanz in Germany, and his colleagues studied how habitual gamblers, recruited from among the regular patrons of the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino in upstate New York, used a cognitive strategy known as “probability matching” in a betting scenario. The regular gamblers, who ranged from slot machine players to those who frequent the blackjack table, were compared to members of the general public. Read more at Inside Science.