Pigeon Gamblers Treat Risk Just Like Humans Do

If you watch poker coverage on television, you probably won’t hear the commentators compare players to pigeons. Maybe they should. The birds don’t play a great game of hold ’em, but the way they think about risk might be strikingly similar to the way we do.

Researchers discovered this by putting humans and birds through a basic study of risky behavior. “In earlier work, we had tried to recreate some classic behavioral economics results with pigeons, but had failed to do so,” says Elliot Lud

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