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Psychologists Compare Gamblers to Greedy Pigeons


A study has been carried out by a group of Psychologists at Warwick University into risky gambling behaviour.

They decided to put a bunch of pigeons and gamblers through a range of different tests, so that they could gain some insight into high risk, high reward decision making skills in both species.  They presented the gamblers and pigeons with four different options; two low reward chances and two high reward chances.  They found that both species were 35% more likely to gamble for high value rewards, even though there was an increased risk of them losing.

The lead psychologist, Dr. Elliot Ludvig believes this is because both pigeons and humans use their past experiences and memories to help make decisions.  He also noted that we are distantly related to birds and that we could share the same logic when it came to making risky decisions.

The study has been published in Biology Letters.


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by Kelly Kelly