Cognitive Bias: Apophenia

When one tries to find meaning in random instances this is what you get.

Last time i was in Las Vegas for my bachelor festivities I went hard on the roulette table. I lost some money but it was good times. I read a quote before, i think it was said by Warren Buffett or a day-trader guy that said this: Some of the best days for money making are when you aren’t in the game. Meaning, you don’t always have to have a bet placed to make a net gain. So, twice, when i didn’t bet any money, the lil roulette ball landed on a green 0. Meaning i would have lost all the money that i placed on numbers etc.

I thought i did something right both of those times but later realized that it was totally random. It wasn’t skill, it was just how the que landed.

We think that there are patterns in lotto numbers, some significance in the stock market that makes us buy/sell, hidden messages in old artwork or music. 10 times out of 10 its not. We try to place meaning in things so we can “have it figured out.”

Last year in the playoffs vs the Houston Rockets, Steph Curry didnt score in the first half and all thought the game was lost. I am familiar that the Law of Averages doesn’t lose. Steph averages 30+ ppg so i figured he would at least score 20 in that second half. He did. He hit his average and won the game.

There was a study done, they asked a number of spiritual people and non-spiritual people to look at a abstract painting. The spiritual people stated they had seen a diety in the painting at a higher rate of the non-spiritual people. There was no special image in the painting. It was a case of Apophenia.

Let’s get 1% better everyday



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