|November 29th, 2010|
When I approach something as frozen and fixed, I am much less excited about it. The possibility of asking a question in a lecture, even if I never ask anything, forces me to actually understand the evidence and arguments in a way that I'll lazily avoid when watching a recorded one. When I'm reading a book I either fall into an "accept everything" mode or I need to be constantly thinking about how I would argue with the author . (This can annoy other people in the room who might prefer to do whatever they were doing without the constant interruptions.)
I believe that gamblers might talk as if they are more confident then, but if they really were more confident, wouldn't they keep buying tickets? If the bookie's odds are 5-1 and I originally put the horses chances of winning at 25%, I might place a $10 bet. But if the placing of that bet caused me to up my estimate of its chances to 40%, might I think it would make sense to bet another $10? My guess is that if you set up an experiment where you asked gamblers if they wanted to make additional bets, they mostly would not, even though they would report increased confidence. So it's not real confidence.
just after placing a bet, [gamblers] are much more confident of their horse's chances of winning than they are immediately before laying down the bet. (p57; chapter 3's first sentence)
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