Grade 8 | Unit 8.4 | Page 9
CHANCE, RANDOM PROCESS AND INDEPENDENT EVENTS
Why is it pointless looking for patterns in the outcomes of games of chance?
• In games of chance the outcomes are uncertain because the outcomes of
the games are generated by random processes.
• A random process means one in which there is no pattern or system. So,
even if you are a very experienced player, you would not be able to know
what the outcome will be.
• Thinking that there is a “hidden” pattern, when in fact it is just a random
process, is a false belief.
Can you think of examples of an illusion?
• Gamblers who think that they know the pattern or have inside information
or are “lucky” players are mistaken and under the illusion that they
can control the occurrence of a particular outcome. The illusion
of control is likely to lead to problem gambling.
Why does Joe think he is lucky?
• Many gamblers have mistaken beliefs. Many gamblers have myths and
superstitions about improving their luck or being able to know what the
outcome may be. Myths are stories people tell themselves about the
world and superstitions are irrational beliefs that a certain act or ritual
(like blowing on the dice) can bring about good luck.
• Superstitions try to connect events generated by random processes. There
is no connection. Although one event may be associated with another (e.g.
rain on Tuesdays), the one event doesn't cause the other. (The fact that it
is Tuesday does not cause it to rain!)
• Myths and superstitions about gambling can be both false and misleading,
because they give players the false belief of being able to control the
selection of the outcome. This in turn means that such players keep on
gambling and gambling, falsely believing that if they do certain things
their luck will turn.
• If players do win, it's not because of what they did, but because the
calculation of the probability of winning made that outcome likely.
• Let's have a closer look at some of the myths and superstitions that people