Why Gamblers Are "Bird-Brained" In 7 Scientifically Proven Steps!

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It doesn't matter if you are only buying a lottery ticket once a month, or online-gambling, or a problem-gambler.  They all add up to the same thing. There is a basic mechanism inside all of us that creates a tendency to enjoy gambling, and pigeons are the best subjects for research studies because they can be trained easily, and their color vision and acuity is similar to a human's.

1. They put hungry pigeons in boxes and trained them, using food as an automatic reward.

They don't know how to read! They've just been taught to distinguish between two words.

2. Then, in another box, they had two options to get their reward. Option one gave 10 pieces of food but only paid out 20 percent of the time, and option two gave 3 pieces of food and paid out 100 percent of the time.

If you calculate it, you see that jackpot gives them an average of two pieces of food per trial, while the other one gives three pieces of food.

3. They unbelievably and consistently pecked for a big jackpot.

4. It is the same impulsive behavior seen in humans.

And for humans, casinos are not as generous as the scientists above. You are not very likely to get a  hefty pay-out in reality, while casinos make millions every day.

5. This should actually be against pigeons' nature. "Evolution should have made them attend to the outcomes,"

"If you give them a choice between more food and less food, they should always choose more food. But at that point, I already knew that there was a tendency for them to gamble inappropriately." says Zentall, who's done this experiment.

6. They suggest that there's a basic biological mechanism involved. This impulsiveness makes people turn into problem-gamblers.

7. And actually, pigeons are even smarter than humans, because they are not impressed by near-hits.

It is because of our tendency in learning.  For example, when we learn how to play basketball, we can't shoot the hoop at first. But we know that if we practice more, it'll get better. That's the illusion about near-hits.

8. Here is the video of the full experiment.

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