The Impact of Upward Counterfactual Thinking on Gambling Behavior

An illusion of control can be a single of the most perilous psychological biases linked to gambling. This false sense of control may encourage gamblers to gamble in a blind way and lead to addiction and financial ruin.

The results of this study show that basic Luck/Chance distortions are caused by gambling, however, they were not related to skill/attitude.

The illusion of being in control

One of the major cognitive mistakes that lead to addiction to gambling is the illusion of control. Control illusion is a psychological mistake that can lead to problematic gambling. It is a false assumption that could pose a risk during losing streaks, when gamblers are anxious and frenzied to recover their losses.

Also, they could be more inclined to indulge in riskier activities and put bets on higher amounts than would have been normal. They can be influenced positive counterfactual thoughts bias, which can make them believe that they would have succeeded if did things differently (Darke & Freedman 1997a).

Additionally, it can trigger religious rituals and beliefs that include making certain gestures or saying certain words before placing bets. This is why it’s important to educate yourself about the psychology behind luck and luck in online gambling, recognizing and challenging irrational beliefs and practices that may affect the way you make decisions.


Gamblers frequently have a tendency to develop a mythology around the way they gamble. People put their feet on the rabbit’s feet in luck, wear lucky socks or wear a team’s jersey for a boost in their chances of being successful. Some gamblers will even give themselves a whirl to bring them good luck. These superstitions can be explained through the availability heuristic, which is when people base their decisions and judgments on information that’s readily available.

The most common belief in 12bet gambling is the belief that someone might make more money had only more fortunate. This is an example of upward counterfactual reasoning that researchers have found. This can lead to an overly optimistic expectation that you will succeed. The thought process can be detrimental to the behavior of gamblers, and could be a cause of pathological gamble. In fact, a study on upward counterfactual thinking and gambling behavior (Holub and co., 2003) revealed that people with higher levels of upward counterfactual thinking expected fewer winnings than people with lower levels of this type of thinking.

Pattern Recognition and Randomity

If you enter the captivating world of gambling online, it’s not difficult to become swept up in the excitement and excitement. While luck is a factor however, you’re in a deal of control.

If a near-win (like the case of a near-win) happens, it can create a feeling of excitement. In turn, this fuels the gambler’s drive to keep gambling, hoping victory may be right around the corner. It’s known as “chasing losing” and could lead to more losses, or even mental problems.

Researchers think that one of major reasons that the people who suffer from these kinds of behaviors is due to the fact that they generalize their perceptions of control. Additionally, they use heuristics or shortcuts, to make judgements and make decisions. The heuristic for availability is one of them. It’s a tendency to make decisions based on information that is readily accessible. This is a tendency that can be reduced with the help of counterfactuals that are upward-facing.

Emotional Impact

Gambling is a complex affair, with wins and loss will occur. During a losing streak, gamblers may feel angry at times, anxious, or in desperate need to recover their losses. The result can be an unending cycle of emotions that take precedence over rational decisions. Cognitive distortions, such as illusions of control and the gambler’s fallacy could be used.

These distortions, that include beliefs and rituals that are based on superstitions, offer the illusion of safety in a world where the distinctions between chance and skill are obscured and the forces of fate are in charge. It is crucial to challenge and acknowledge these unfounded beliefs to minimize their adverse consequences on gambling.

A positive mindset is key for success with online gambling since it will help gamblers overcome negative emotions and remain assured of their capabilities. They may be encouraged to adopt more strategic and riskier methods of gambling that could yield significant rewards. Our research revealed that regardless of the fact that gambling issues were not associated to the level of belief in luck and faith at the 6-month and baseline points, it was strongly related to positive counterfactual thought.