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Friday, May 9, 2014

Winning and losing

Isn't it amazing how a loss can have a much stronger effect on us than a win of a similar size?

I read about this concept in psychology and it definitely applies to gambling. Psychologists reckon that we feel the pain of losses twice as much as we feel the joy of winning. So if there was some sort of happiness scale, a €100 win might be worth 100 points but a €100 loss would see the scale drop by 200 points.  That might sound like hogwash but I tend to agree and experienced these feelings this week.
On Wednesday, I won €143 which wasn't too bad:

However, I can't say I was overjoyed. I was happy, don't get me wrong but I was acutely aware that bad days can be just around the corner. In other words, I didn't enjoy my win all that much.
On Thursday, I lost €152 which is only slightly more than I'd won on the Wednesday:

Yet the emotion from the loss was much much stronger. If I was rational, I should have been acutely aware that good days can be just around the corner. But it's hard to think like this when you lose and I can't help being nervous about Friday's figure. 

That's the way our brains are built and most of us feel the pain of a loss stronger than we do the joy of a win. Being aware of this fact won't make you stop thinking this way but I suppose it's good to know you are not alone. I guess the moral of the story is that we should enjoy our wins a little more than we do, and try not to beat ourselves up as much over a loss. Easier said than done though and I head to bed with my tail between my legs.

Tomorrow's another day!

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