Magical Thinking

Magical Thinking

Simply stated, magical thinking refers to a mistaken belief that one thing has an influence on something else when, actually, the two things are not connected. Here’s an example of magical thinking: you forget your umbrella one day and it rains, and you think that you caused the rain because you forgot your umbrella. Using selective attention (see above), you may start to believe that it “always” rains when you forget your umbrella.Magical thinking in gambling works in a similar way. If you win a large prize on a Tuesday, you may start to believe that Tuesday is the best day to gamble. In doing so, you’re making a connection between events that are not actually related. There’s no connection between times of day or location of VLTs and your chances of winning. Your chances of winning are always the same. (See How Gambling Works for a discussion of randomness and independence of events.)