Are Gamblers Greedy Bird Brains?

New academic study says there are similarities with pigeons!

Psychologists at Warwick University in the United Kingdom say the risky decisions that gamblers make are similar to the tendencies of greedy pigeons!
Reporting on the results of the university study, United Press International records that the academic researchers put gamblers and pigeons through a series of tests, or chance games, featuring high-risk-high-reward decision making.
When presented with four options — two high-reward chances and two low-reward chances — both pigeons and punters were 35 percent more apt to gamble for high-value rewards, despite the increased risk, and birds and punters were equally influenced by their most recent gambling experiences.
"Both humans and pigeons were shown to be less risk averse for high rewards than they were for low rewards and this is linked to our past memories and experiences of making risky decisions," said Dr. Elliot Ludvig, lead author of the new study published this week in the journal Biology Letters.
"When people gamble, they often rely on past experiences with risk and rewards to make decisions," Ludvig explained. "What we found in this study is that both gamblers and pigeons used these past experiences in very similar ways to guide their future gambling decisions."
Even though humans obviously have much larger brains than pigeons, the new findings suggest risky behaviors use logic rooted in neural processes shared by both birds and humans.
"Birds are distantly related to humans, yet we still share the same basic psychology that drives risk-taking," Ludvig said. "This may be due to a shared common ancestry or similar evolutionary pressures."

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