Pity the pigeons

A mourning dove, presumably not mourning because of a gambling loss. Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
A mourning dove, presumably not mourning because of a gambling loss. Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Are pigeons smarter than us?

The folks at NPR Tuesday morning discussed how gamblers enjoy not only the gamble, not only winning, but even just coming close to winning (while losing).

Pigeons, research shows, enjoy gambling and enjoy winning, but the NPR story said that the study also showed they avoid choices that are associated with a near miss. (Do they intuitively know something about takeout that we don’t?)

The commentators, thusly, surmised pigeons are smarter than humans.

This heady bit of science suggests that a pigeon’s brain and the brain are wired differently, they said.

In defense of the degenerate mind (of which mine is one), why couldn’t it be that the pigeons can’t handle the stress of the bad beat? Why couldn’t it be that we human gamblers are wired better to accommodate and, possibly even, relish the “fish that got away?”

Maybe the real scientific conclusion is that we should feel sorry for those pigeons because the bad beats bother them much worse than us?

Or maybe pigeons are just smarter than us.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s