Confessions of Gambler Part 2.

Posted by Tamas_Harangi in gambling | 0 Comments




UPDATE: The original name of my blog, Intermittent Reinforcement, has changed since the date of this post, but I feel the concepts behind it still apply.

Since someone asked about the name of my blog…

“Every time I think I’m out, they pull me right back in.” complains Michael Corleone in the Godfather Part III. For a lot of aspirants in Hollywood, this is a somewhat familiar feeling, except that they don’t want to get out, they want to get inside. During the struggle, it often feels that you just had your last shot at the game, you just played your last chip, and this tournament is about to come to a halt for you.

And this is usually when the call comes in. “So-and-so liked your script over at fill-in-the-blank company.” Now the roller coaster is back on again. In psychology they call it “intermittent reinforcement”, when the reward for a specific action is received at intermittent and unpredictable intervals — it’s the most effective way to hook someone on performing a specific action. Other than being a very effective dog training tool, it’s also how Las Vegas makes most of its money. If you sat in front of a slot machine and it never gave you a dime, you’d stop playing pretty fast. And if it gave you a dime every tenth try, you’d probably figure out the math after thirty tries or so — free money has a way of turning people into math wizards. But instead, every slot machine is programmed to give out certain random amounts of money at random intervals, sometimes often, sometimes seldom, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot — but always less than what it takes in. The slot machine is intermittent reinforcement at its purest form.

Hollywood is nowhere near as pure, but for many people, it works on the same principle.
That’s it for now, but I will be back soon to write some more. Not sure when yet. Maybe soon, maybe not so soon, maybe I’ll write a little, maybe a lot…


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