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Fear: Part Two

by Alan Schoonmaker |  Published: Aug 16, 2017


My first column on fear began: “Jason Zweig’s Your Money and Your Brain cites research that suggests that fear is much more common and has much greater effects than most poker players believe.” That column and others about Zweig’s book said that our primitive brain evolved hundreds of thousands of years before our rational brain, and that it creates fears and other emotional reactions, even when we’re unaware of their causes. Doubts About Our Primitive Brain’s Power Several people have criticized the research Zweig reported because the samples were small or the methods were flawed. And they insisted that many people – certainly themselves – nearly always made rational decisions, especially when playing poker. They believe what they want to believe and deny the overwhelming evidence of the primitive brain’s power. Since conclusions based on small samples are dubious, let’s look at an enormous sample, the more than one hundred ...

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