Friday, March 2, 2018

The poker table as a laboratory.......

     To say that I had strayed from the academic path might seem like an understatement.  But I realized pretty quickly that I hadn't really left academics as much as moved to a new kind of lab for studying how people learn and make decisions.  A hand of poker takes about two minutes.  Over the course of that hand, I could be involved in up to twenty decisions.  And each hand ends with a concrete result:  I win money or I lose money.  The result of each hand provides immediate feedback on how your decisions are faring.  But it's a tricky kind of feedback because winning and losing are only loose signals of decision quality.  You can will lucky hands and lose unlucky ones.  Consequently, it's hard to leverage all that feedback for learning.

-Annie Duke,  Thinking in Bets:  Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All The Facts

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