Gamble: v. to take chances where the objective is getting to a goal which usually has much less than a 50% probability of existing and frequently a profit is hoped for

Here is an excerpt from Livescience which warns that gambling can easily destroy your life.

Gambling, too, seems to be in our genes and hard-wired into our brains, which might explain why such a potentially ruinous behavior is so common.

Even monkeys gamble. A study that measured monkeys’ desire to gamble for juice rewards found that even as potential rewards diminished, the primates acted irrationally and gambled for the chance to get a wee bit more.

A study published in the journal Neuron last year found that almost winning activates win-related circuitry within the brain and enhances the motivation to gamble. “Gamblers often interpret near-misses as special events, which encourage them to continue to gamble,” said Luke Clark of the University of Cambridge. “Our findings show that the brain responds to near-misses as if a win has been delivered, even though the result is technically a loss.”

Other studies have also shown that losing causes gamblers to get carried away. When people plan in advance how much to gamble, they’re coldly rational, a study last year found. But if they lose, rationality goes out the window, and they change the game plan and bet even more.

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