Skill, superstition: no effect on luck

Dec 15, 2005

Research by Drake University psychology professors suggests the more mental mistakes gamblers make, the more they bet.

Professors W. Scott Wood and Maria Clapham say the two most common incorrect beliefs are that the player possesses some sort of control over games of chance by their game-playing skills or through magical or superstitious influence.

"Gamblers often display what psychologists call 'cognitive errors,'" said Wood. "The first belief is an illusion of control. For example, they may believe that if they watch slots closely and see one lose over and over then the machine is 'due' for a payout.

"The second cognitive error is superstition," Wood said. "This is a belief that has do with how lucky you are."

Wood comments: "The odds always favor the house. The more you play, the more likely you are to lose -- and there is no skill, insight, or lucky charm that can change that."

The study appears in the December issue of the Journal of Gambling Studies.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Mars goal: nail the landing

Jul 16, 2012

Three weeks from Sunday night, an amiable, whip-smart engineer named Ray Baker will be staring into his computer screen at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, hopeful and helpless - or, as he puts it, "sweating ...

Recommended for you

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Apr 19, 2014

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...

Study finds law dramatically curbing need for speed

Apr 18, 2014

Almost seven years have passed since Ontario's street-racing legislation hit the books and, according to one Western researcher, it has succeeded in putting the brakes on the number of convictions and, more importantly, injuries ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Clippers and coiners in 16th-century England

In 2017 a new £1 coin will appear in our pockets with a design extremely difficult to forge. In the mid-16th century, Elizabeth I's government came up with a series of measures to deter "divers evil persons" ...

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.