Luck, Belief, and Gambling Today’s Agenda • PPT Luck, Belief and Gambling

Luck, Belief, and Gambling
•Today’s Agenda
•PPT Luck, Belief and Gambling
• Inquiry Movie: Hand Stick Game
What do folks think?
 Luck an ambiguous concept...
Lucky People?
Luck Scale: How Do You Rank?
BIGL Scale
 Respondents are required to indicate the extent to which
they agree or disagree with each items
 Strongly disagree = 1
 Somewhat disagree = 2
 Slightly disagree = 3
 Slightly agree = 4
 Somewhat agree = 5
 Strongly agree = 6
 11 and 12 are reverse scored.
A Few Gambling Stories
 A little old lady sits at one machine. Her weathered hand reaches into her cup
and pulls out a quarter. She lifts the coin to the slot and drops it in. Then she
grips the handle and pulls it.
 The first roller comes to a sudden halt — a cherry. The woman’s eyes widen as
the second stops — another cherry. But a look of disgust enters her face when
the third wheel finishes with a golden bell.
 "Sh–," she mutters under her breath. Louise Brodeur, 62, has been sitting at
the same machine for more than two hours....
A Few Gambling Stories
 "Well, it’s got to hit soon," she says. "I can’t leave now or else the next person
to sit down will get the jackpot."
 Now, that’s what you call superstition, or belief in luck. There’s no proof a
machine is going to pay out at any given time, but gamblers think differently
,wrongly or rightly.
 A machine has to have the right feel. Brodeur usually walks around until she
spots someone leaving a slot machine that didn’t work out. . .
Luck says that’s the one that is due to pay out.
A Few Gambling Stories: KISS THE
 Immediately, the man beside her jumps in her seat and drags his few loonies with
him. Superstition says Lady Luck is sitting in that seat. And... what do you know,
plunk goes the loonies, Ernie hits 7’s. A quick $500, nice.
 A few feet away, a couple stand at the craps table. The man shakes the dice. The
woman gives them a kiss and rubs his back as he tosses the cubes on the table.
 The dice come to a stop at four and he throws his head back in defeat. Lost it all
again... In the corner of the room a vague shadow can be glimpsed... Lady Lucky
chuckles in chagrin.
Gambling Rituals
 There are few gamblers who don’t believe in superstitions,
rituals or some form of luck.
 But,
 Even at a bingo hall. The surroundings aren’t as luxurious,
the stakes aren’t as high but bingo players are notorious for
their rituals.
Bingo Rituals (contd).
 For instance, it’s common for people to
have tables full of troll dolls, family
pictures, elephant figurines with their
trunks facing upwards and other
 People get into their routines, too.
Some people rub their collars for good
luck. Some have very specific
requirements as to which cards they
want to buy. Like the top card and the
bottom card for example.
Bingo Rituals
 Others have special ways they arrange their dabbers or a specific seat
they take every time they play.
 There are even 10 commandments of bingo posted behind the main
Lottery Luck
 So you won the lottery once, should you be considered a lucky
 Maybe?
 But, if you won it twice, are you lucky then?
Lady Luck: Some History
 Lady Luck is a personification of luck that is often involved
in gambler's superstitions.
 It may refer to:
 Fortuna, in Roman mythology, goddess of fortune
 Tyche, in Greek mythology, governed the fortune and
prosperity of a city
According to Barrett...
 We call someone lucky
when we say chance
favours hers.
 But, Barrett doesn’t buy
luck, instead he
determines it to be a
misinformed choice, at
best a accidental
Themes from Reading 1
 Luck is curious concept, leading toward treachery.
 Luck has become or for some is a projectable endowment
 Luck has consequences regarding the gambler and gambling
in terms of rationality, decision making, and probability.
Themes from Reading 1
 We should reject the idea that personal identity could include
being lucky.
 Luck is granted by persons who often fail to acknowledge or
inquire into background assumptions that are tied to lucky
 Thus, Barrett warns the gambler and the so called lucky
person to be careful about beliefs and correlations given an
event, situation, or experience that is deemed lucky.
Themes From Reading 1
 Luck is not predictable
 Ultimately, luck is requires
something unintended or
otherwise unexpected, not
something we are justified in
Themes from Reading 2
 Lucky events are determined by chance.
 A lucky outcome does not indicate that future outcomes will be
lucky or unlucky, because each occurrence is entirely independent
of all others.
 People aren’t inherently lucky, and although people understand
this, this still fall victim to believing in luck, which impinges on
their behaviour.
Themes from Reading 2
 For some persons luck is dispositional, comes in streaks, can
be controlled, consistent over time, or at least harnessed.
3 Experiments and their Findings
 A series of experiments
were conducted
exploring the effect of a
lucky event and personal
beliefs about luck on
future behaviour.
General Results
 Key finding people who believe good luck is a stable personal
factor took more risks.
 Whereas those who thought luck was random took less risks.
 Experiments indicated that experiencing a lucky event can
affect people’s expectations about an unrelated task.
General Results (contd)
 It was also found that those who believe in luck seem to accept that luck plays a
positive role in their lives, thus one lucky event will surely give rise to another.
 Or other words, they believe in lucky streaks, and gain confidence in making a
subsequent decision based on past events.
 While, those who hold belief in luck as suspect, do not necessarily belief their
luck will continue and actually interpret the future will trepidation.
 Interestingly, for those who believed in luck, independent of locus of control,
self-esteem, optimism.
Looking Deeper Into Luck
 Richard Wiseman
 Holds an honors degree in
Psychology from University
College London and a doctorate
in psychology from the University
of Edinburgh.
 For the past twelve years he has
been the head of a research unit at
the University of Hertfordshire,
and in 2002 was awarded Britain's
first Professorship in the Public
Understanding of Psychology.
Listen to this…
Some Luck Scenarios
 If you were walking down a street that was full of people and
someone dropped a $20 bill in the middle of the crowd, do you
feel that you would: most certainly find it; probably find it; have a
slightly better than even chance of finding it; have no feeling one
way or the other; have a slightly better than even chance of not
finding it; probably not find it; most certainly not find it.
 Let’s discuss.
Some Luck Scenarios
 If you were on a bus that crashed on the roadway and half the
people were injured while the other half were safe, do you feel
that you would: most certainly be safe; probably be safe; have a
slightly better then even chance of being safe; have no feeling one
way or the other; have a slightly better than even chance of being
injured; probably be injured; most certainly be injured.
 Let’s discuss
Some Luck Scenarios
 If you had to flip a coin to see whether you would get a set of
extra tickets to a show or someone else would get them, do
you feel like you would: most certainly lose; probably lose;
have a slightly better than even chance of losing; have no
feeling one way or the other; have a slightly better than even
chance of winning; probably win; most certainly win.
 Let’s discuss.
Some Luck Scenarios
 Imagine that you’re driving a car when you notice that you’re low
on gas.You also know that you don’t have any money or credit
cards to buy more gas because you left them at home. There may
be just enough fuel left to get you home and then to a gas station,
but you can’t tell for sure. Do you feel that you would: most
certainly make it; probably make it; have a slightly better than
even chance of making it; have no feeling one way or the other;
have a slightly better than even chance of running out of gas;
probably run out of gas; most certainly run out of gas.
 Let’s discuss.
A lucky Streak: Beyond Probability
 Randall Fitzgerald began his journalism
career in 1974 in Washington, D.C. as an
investigative reporter for syndicated
columnist Jack Anderson.
 He has since written for The Washington
Post, The Wall Street Journal, and for 20
years was an editor with Reader’s Digest.
Randall is the author of several books,
including Lucky You: Proven Strategies
You Can Use to Find Your Fortune, and
his latest, The Hundred Year Lie: How
Food and Medicine Are Destroying Your