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Gamblers and Pigeons Don't Know When to Fold Them

Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:29:55 +0000

iStock/Thinkstock(COVENTRY, England) -- One of the slang meanings of “pigeon” is someone who can be easily duped.

Perhaps then it’s no surprise that British researchers have determined that people who like to gamble exhibit the same tendencies as pigeons when it comes to decisions that involve risk.

Psychology expert Dr. Elliot Ludvig of the University of Warwick asserts that “Both humans and pigeons were shown to be less risk averse for high rewards then they were for low rewards and this is linked to our past memories and experiences of making risky decisions.”

Never mind that human have brains that are so much more advanced than any other species. According to Ludvig, the same mental processes drive gamblers and pigeons when they’re faced with risk.

So why does this happen?  Ludvig says it may have to do with “shared common ancestry or similar evolutionary pressures.”


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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