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Gambler's fallacy in the classroom?


  • Hubert Janos Kiss

    () (Game Theory Research Group, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences)

  • Adrienn Selei

    () (Regional Centre for Energy Policy Research)


Does students' hand tremble after marking three consecutive identical answers in a multiple choice test? We design an experiment to study if the likelihood to change incorrectly to a different answer than the last one depends on the number of identical previous answers. We do not find a clear treatment effect, but observe that indeed the likelihood to change to an incorrect answer increases in the number of identical previous answers given by the student, even after controlling for how prepared (s)he was overall and how certain (s)he was that the answer to a given multiple choice question is correct. We claim that this behavior possibly is a reasonable reaction to previous exam experience.

Suggested Citation

  • Hubert Janos Kiss & Adrienn Selei, 2013. "Gambler's fallacy in the classroom?," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1342, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:has:discpr:1342

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Albert Burgos, 2004. "Guessing and gambling," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 4(4), pages 1-10.
    2. S. Dellavigna., 2011. "Psychology and Economics: Evidence from the Field," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 5.
    3. Charles Ballard & Marianne Johnson, 2005. "Gender, Expectations, And Grades In Introductory Microeconomics At A Us University," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(1), pages 95-122.
    4. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:4:y:2004:i:4:p:1-10 is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item


    belief; experiment; gambler's fallacy; multiple choice;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations


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