Gambler's Fallacy

If a coin were flipped and it came up heads, would it be more likely to come up tails the next time? If a baseball player normally gets a hit 30% of the time but has no hits after three tries, is he “due” for a hit, in the sense that he is more likely than usual to get one the next time? The temptation to say “yes” to such questions is based on the gambler's fallacy.


The gambler's fallacy, also known as the negative recency effect and the reactive inhibition principle, refers to a common mistake in human judgment. It is the belief that, for random independent events, the lower the frequency of an outcome in the recent past, the greater is the likelihood of ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles