The Gambler’s Fallacy (Or how I learned to ignore logic)

Adrienne, as some may know, is pregnant. In fact we are a few weeks away from the end of bed rest. (YEAH!) This is our sixth child, fifth boy and the last for us. Adrienne over the past several years has insisted that the chances of having a girl have increased as we had more boys. And yes our fourth, Olivia, is a sweet devilish girl. But numbers five and six are both boys, unless Parker decides to pop out sans equipment. I must point out, while it would have been nice to have another girl, another boy suits us just fine. We love spoiling Olivia, and a household of rambunctious boys is just hours of fun!

Louis Navellier explains in his book The Little Book That Makes You Rich: A Proven Market-Beating Formula for Growth Investing the logical dilemma I faced everyday as Adrienne tried to explain to me that the chances of having a girl increased with each boy we had:

One of the most common emotional mistakes is the “gambler’s fallacy.” That is a tendency to think that when a tossed coin lands on heads five times in a row it is much more likely to land on tails the next time. This supposition is incorrect. The odds of flipping tails on the sixth try are exactly what they were the first five: 50-50. Each flip occurs independently of the others.

I now have a name for what dumbfounded me for years. Silly woman….I love you still.