Gambler's fallacy

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The gambler's fallacy is the logical fallacy of thinking that deviations from a long-term trend will be corrected in the short term.

Examples

  • A person who is playing slot machines and has just lost ten times in a row may think that he is more likely to win on the next try.
  • Say a person lives in an area that has been hit by earthquakes every five years on average over the past 200 years. But it has been fifteen years since the last earthquake, so she assumes that the area is due for another one, perhaps of greater-than-usual severity.
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