Monkeys Believe In 'Winning Streaks'

Monday, 30 June 2014, 04:58 Hrs
cmt right
Comment Right
cmt right
cmt right
Printer Print Email Email

New York: Do monkeys, like humans, have hot-hand fallacy? Yes, reveals a new study.

Hot-hand fallacy is a belief that a person who has experienced success with a random event has a greater chance of further success in additional attempts.

The concept has been applied to gambling and sports.

Humans have a well-documented tendency to see winning and losing streaks in situations that, in fact, are random.


Now, researchers have found that monkeys also share our unfounded belief in winning and losing streaks.

The results suggest that the penchant to see patterns that actually don't exist may be inherited - an evolutionary adaptation that may have provided our ancestors a selective advantage when foraging for food.

The cognitive bias may be difficult to override even in situations that are truly random.

This inborn tendency to feel that we are on a roll or in a slump may help explain why gambling can be so alluring and why the stock market is so prone to wild swings, said co-author Benjamin Hayden.

To measure whether monkeys actually believe in winning streaks, the researchers had to create a computerized game that was so captivating that monkeys would want to play for hours.

"Luckily, monkeys love to gamble," said Tommy Blanchard from University of Rochester in the US.

So the team devised a fast-paced task in which each monkey could choose right or left and receive a reward when they guessed correctly.

The monkeys showed the hot-hand bias consistently over weeks of play and an average of 1,244 trials per condition.

"They had lots and lots of opportunities to get over this bias, to learn and change, and yet they continued to show the same tendency," Blanchard said.

The study was published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition.

READ MORE: Delhi, Mumbai Among World's Fastest Growing Cities and 1 Million Children In India Still Get No Education

Source: IANS
Enterprise IT
Taking on streaming giants like Netflix and Hulu, Walt Disney Co. has announced it will laun..
The Pentagon has selected Microsoft and Amazon Web Services (AWS, the cloud computing arm ..
Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp is still developing its previously announced "Vacatio..
"Game of Thrones" author George R.R. Martin doesn't want season eight to be the final chapter of "..
US Indian
Facebook-owned photo messaging app Instagram has launched the beta version of its in-app sh..
Startup City
Youth are leading India's start-up ecosystem where the median age of founder-entrepreneurs..
Wiley, a global leader in research and education has announced a series of blended learning progr..
The Reserve Bank of India injected a total liquidity of Rs 2.98 lakh crore in the market in 20..
Google Pixel and OnePlus smartphones are catching up and giving stiff competition to Samsu..