Would You Take This Bet?

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How much would it take for you to risk $10?
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Psychological literature shows that we are more sensitive to small losses and than small gains, with most people valuing a loss around 1.5-2.5 times as much as a gain. This means that we often turn down reasonable opportunities for fear of the loss. However over the course of our lives we will be exposed to many risks and opportunities and this invariably means that taking every small reasonable bet will leave us better off than saying no to all of them.

NOTE: The video is not saying to accept every bet, only those with reasonable odds (preferably in your favour), and those which if you lose would not cause significant financial or other damage. In those cases it is wise to be loss averse!

Filmed by Adrian Tan

Thanks to Physics Girl for suggestions on previous versions of this video. trvid.com/u-physicswoman



4 Oca 2015




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Stefan de Jong
Stefan de Jong 7 yıl önce
If a stranger would offer me this bet, I would immediately assume it's probably a scam. Am I the only one?
My very first thought when you offered 12 versus 10 was, "Only if we can flip it 100 times". This showed me I should hold out for the 2:1 bets.
Tomas Beblar
My friend and I repeatedly flip for a dollar when we hang out. The expected monetary value is $0 but we still do it because it generates entertainment for both of us, which in itself has value. Effectively, we are generating value out of nothing.
I was shocked to see that no one took the bet easily.. because my father played this game with me various times and in that i was ready to lose my money(although i don't have much money).. but he wanted us to learn to take small risks.. from there I learned not to think about small losses much and it'd helped me in taking some decisions quite easily..and plus i feel more confident sometimes iykyk;)
H.Zinedine Abayahia
I felt that I've read about this somewhere before and I was amazed to see that this video was inspired by one of my favorite books which is Thinking fast and slow by Daniel Kanheman. I recommend this book for anyone interested in how statistics are applied to psychology and psychology in general. It has honestly been an eye opener for me.
Sumit Mehta
I'm so glad that there are people like you who spread the knowledge instead of dancing in front of a camera for attention. Keep up the good work mate. 👍
Jeff Mcafee
Jeff Mcafee 7 yıl önce
A little extra math for anyone interested.
I love how at the end of the video, he accidentally gave you the advice that you can get better odds by just refusing to take risk unless and until you get better odds (one guy wins $10, the other $12, the other $20). Which, well, to be fair, is also good advice: Make sure to spend your limited energy on the best bets
Kyle Mart
As someone with a history of advantage gambling and investing, I actually experienced physical pain seeing these people turn down these bets and hearing their rationale.
Thank you so much Veritasium 💟
Zafer Sernikli
What’s great with this video is that each time the bet was rejected, Derek offers another bet that reveals the psychology behind the decision.
Funny enough it's a behavior that I experienced even in video games where there is no real stake. When presented with two piece of equipment and that you can only use one and that those two pieces of equipment are roughly equal in value but give different stats I had the tendency to favor the piece that I was already wearing. Even if the other piece gave a little bit more stat overall, the fact that I was trading away the stats that I already had for another stat felt like a loss even if in the end the value of those stats were roughly the same or very slightly higher in the new piece
Jihad 3 yıl önce
Just run away if you lose, giving you a 100% chance of not losing 10 dollars.
Sami the catgirl
I think my answer to the
Nikolas Fiut
Nikolas Fiut 14 gün önce
I feel that the real issue here is sample size. If I know I have a 50% odds to win double my value but that bet will occur only once I do not feel it worthwhile as I could just get unlucky. It is only once I can repeat the bet hundreds or thousands of times that I would take the odds as outliers would statistically diminish to insignificance.
I'd love to see this go into talking about the "Credit Card Game", where everyone at a table in a restaurant puts in their credit card and the unlucky person to get selected pays for everyone's tabs.
Often Dead
Did you try lowering the bet? It’s interesting how the risk aversion lowers with the value of the loss even if the odds of losing are increased. I have a slightly pragmatic view; basically I consider the entertainment value of the activity. If what I would be prepared to pay to do it is equal to or below the potential loss then you can only win either way.
Initially I would refuse like the people in the clip but know you have explained it so clearly I would take the chance.
ThunderTurtle 5 yıl önce
Nobody wants to make a bet on a coin toss from a physicist.
Daniel Juarez
Great video! Just like in counting cards for BJ. You can even relate this concept to life, if you take enough risk and put the odds in your favor every day you will be better off guaranteed.
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