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If you give away a lottery ticket, is it more likely to win?:

 

No, that’s crazy-talk. However, a lot of people believe it:

People are reluctant to exchange lottery tickets, a result that previous investigators have attributed to anticipated regret. The authors suggest that people’s subjective likelihood judgments also make them disinclined to switch. Four studies examined likelihood judgments with respect to exchanged and retained lottery tickets and found that (a) exchanged tickets are judged more likely to win a lottery than are retained tickets and (b) exchanged tickets are judged more likely to win the more aversive it would be if the ticket did win. The authors provide evidence that this effect occurs because the act of imagining an exchanged ticket winning the lottery increases the belief that such an event is likely to occur. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved)

Source: Another look at why people are reluctant to exchange lottery tickets. from Journal of Personality and Social Psychology – Vol 97, Iss 5 by Risen, Jane L.; Gilovich, Thomas

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About Eric Barker