Gambling is when you take part in a game where you risk losing something, usually money, in order to win a prize. Obviously you won’t always end up with a prize – that wouldn’t be gambling, it would simply be buying a product or service. Gambling is all down to chance, so you might leave with more or less than you started off with, and sometimes nothing at all.
Most gamblers lose, and few are winning more than losing in the long term. So why do people bet their hard-earned money? Find out a bit about the psychology of gambling, why people bet money, the reasons for gambling and how likelihood works.
Psychology of Gambling: Reasons for Gambling
Most gamblers lose. So why do people bet their hard-earned money? We all understand that gambling offers you the chance of winning money or prizes, but have you considered some of the other reasons for gambling? A look into the psychology of gambling offers insight into that question.
Why Do People Gamble? – Risk Taking
One reason for gambling is that it’s in the human nature to feel excited when taking risks, the positive feeling gained from gambling is no different. “Will my numbers come up?” “Will my team win?” The sense of anticipation creates a natural high, an adrenalin rush, a feeling that many of us seek when looking for fun and entertainment. A feeling that some people believe they cannot live without.
Why Do People Gamble? – Escapism
The gambling environment can provide an escape from everyday life. Whether it be the glitzy casino environment, a loud and exciting amusement arcade or even an online betting company, for the time that we are taking part we can be surrounded by different people, different sounds and emotions, all of which stimulate and arouse our senses.
Why Do People Gamble? – Glamorous
The media and marketers understand the psychology of gambling and often portray a stylish, sexy, fashionable image of gambling. In film and TV, we see characters enjoying a night at the casino or an afternoon at the races.
Why Do People Gamble? – Social
Gambling is accepted as part of our country’s culture and as such is widely anticipated in (with varying frequency) by the majority of the population. Some young people are introduced to gambling by learning to play card games with their parents, maybe we go to the bingo with friends on a Friday night or meet after school at the amusement arcade.
Psychology of Gambling: The Common Misperception
The above reasons for gambling all ties into this: most people think about gambling as a low-risk, high-yield proposition. In reality, it’s the opposite: a high-risk, low-yield situation. The odds always favor the house. Despite that, the thought and excitement of hitting a casino jackpot are often too alluring – regardless of its probability.
Probability is a measure of the likeliness that an event will occur.
Probability is used to quantify an attitude of mind towards some proposition of whose truth we are not certain. The proposition of interest is usually of the form “Will a specific event occur?” The attitude of mind is of the form “How certain are we that the event will occur?” The certainty we adopt can be described in terms of a numerical measure and this number, between 0 and 1 (where 0 indicates impossibility and 1 indicates certainty), we call probability. Thus the higher the probability of an event, the more certain we are that the event will occur. A simple example would be the toss of a fair coin. Since the 2 outcomes are deemed equiprobable, the probability of “heads” equals the probability of “tails” and each probability is 1/2 or equivalently a 50% chance of either “heads” or “tails”.