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Is the Human Brain Wired for Gambling
Is the Human Brain Wired for Gambling


Is the Human Brain Wired for Gambling?

Gambling is an ancient hobby whose existence dates back many years ago. The evolution history of man also suggests that the first man enjoyed different hobbies, with gambling being top. The human brain reacts differently to different activities.

There is no doubt that the human brain enjoys the thrill that comes with gambling. This is because of the anxiety that comes with the understanding that your next move on the poker table or your next spin of the wheel or roll of dice could make you money. This leaves the brain wanting to gamble more.

In the animal world, apes are the closest to human beings. Most of their brain functioning abilities are closer to human beings, thus being the right candidates for research to understand if the human brain is wired for gambling. We linked up with our expert Klara Czerwinska, to help us understand if the human brain is wired for gambling.

Study of The Apes

In 2013 and 2014, Georgia State University and Duke University collaborated through their respective scientists to perform research to determine the risk-taking preferences of different apes and human beings. The test was conducted using different species of monkeys, including Chimpanzees, bonobos, and capuchin monkeys, as well as a few undergraduate students from the universities.

Georgia State University IGT/PGT Tests

The first test was conducted at Georgia State University, where both the human volunteers and the monkeys were subjected to a Iowa Gambling task that was modified to their preferences. Similar to the IGT, the PGT i.e., the Primate Gambling Task, is built to simulate real-life decision-making in apes.

The standard IGT setting involves the gamer i.e., human beings picking cards from sets of five different decks. The decks are categorized, with some having different average payouts and steamy rewards.

Some decks, on the other hand, are higher invariance, having the option of many rewards but also a chance to walk out without any winning. In the PGT setting, the cards were substituted by non-transparent food containers that contained different treats.

Is the study applicable to online casino gamers?

Even though there hasn’t been a study on the Polish online casinos, there are high chances that the same results can be replicated. Such studies can be tested on darmowe gry hazardowe owoce or even those who try traditional games such as blackjack or roulette.

Duke University Test

The Duke University tests on video game players were not as vigorous as the Georgia State University. The test involved an in-depth study using bonobos and chimpanzees to determine their resistance to instant rewards compared to a long-term option which could either yield greater returns in the long run or nothing at all.


Georgia State University

In the test, results from the experiment indicated that all the humans and chimpanzees preferred low variance and high payout, which is referred to as playing safe. Differences were, however, noted when minimizing variance to maximize profits.

Half of the humans and apes preferred playing jackpots which is riskier and could provide maximum winnings. The other half of the test subjects preferred low variance which means lower returns that were less risky.

Duke University

In the Duke University tests, there was an evident difference in preferences across the different species of apes. Chimpanzees were perceived as the risk-taking species of the apes as they chose a jackpot over other options.

The bonobos, on the other hand, opted for the low-risk form of gambling which was less risky. The results were perplexing to the scientists as they expected the chimpanzees being the most aggressive species of apes who endure harsh environments, to pick the easiest option. The bonobos live in a relatively fair environment and they were expected to be patient enough to wait on the grand price. This was, however, the opposite to their surprise.

Relation to Human Beings

The tests go a long way to understand how the gamer brain, and if gambling is inherent in human nature. It does not matter if such players are playing card games or slots. The human brain is built in an adaptive way such that it detects pleasure and directs us to activities that please us. This is done by releasing Dopamine into the system.

The downside, however, is that the human brain is not wired to differentiate long- and short-term pleasures when playing wired games. This is why it continues to release high levels of Dopamine every time you gamble as you expect a winning. This is the main reason why people become gambling addicts.

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