Mark's Poem - Push the Button, You'll Win for Sure

Marks poem about the distorted thinking that keeps you gambling

Many problem gamblers' thoughts are distorted in the following ways:

Attribution – Problem gamblers may believe their winnings occur as a result of their efforts, how long they play and how much money they spend. They ignore the fact that all gambling outcomes are random.

Magical thinking – Problem gamblers believe that thinking or hoping in a certain way will bring about a win, or that random outcomes can be predicted. They may also believe they are special in some way and that their specialness will be rewarded with a win.

Selective recall – Problem gamblers tend to remember their wins and forget or gloss over their losses.

Personification of a gambling device – Problem gamblers sometimes attribute human characteristics to inanimate objects, which are part of the gambling process, thinking that a particular machine is punishing, rewarding or taunting them.

Near miss beliefs – Problem gamblers reduce the number of losing experiences in their minds by thinking they "almost" won. This justifies further attempts to win. Research into brain waves shows that near misses can be as stimulating, or even more stimulating, than actual wins

Chasing losses – Problem gamblers believe that they have not really lost money to gambling, but that it can be "won back" by further gambling.

Many of these thought distortions lead to highly ritualized patterns of behaviour, which are characteristic of addictions.

As you read through Mark's poem, see if you can find examples of the abovementioned thinking distortions.

Marks poem