Is Your Streak About to End? The False Belief That Can Drive Both Gambling and Anxiety
Many of us subconsciously believe there is only so much good allotted to us—so, when something good happens, watch out.
This is DATA, a monthly column by Angela Chen on numbers, nerdery, and what it means to live an evidence-based life.
Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Imagine that everyone gets a fixed emotional allowance each week,
noWhat would happen would happen, so I might as well participate.
Angela Chen (@chengela) is a science journalist and writer. Her reporting and essays have also been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Atlantic, Paris Review, Aeon Magazine, Pacific Standard, Smithsonian, Hazlitt, Electric Literature, and more. She is the author of Ace, on asexuality, from Beacon Press.
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I learned to reevaluate the meaning of ‘normal’ in relationships, and also my habit of reflexively turning to data.
It can be easy to confuse real emotion with the shiny drama enfolding it. Sometimes grand gestures are signs of grand feeling—sometimes they’re not.
Remain forever hungry, or enjoy the tried-and-true? Sometimes, I learned, it’s okay to double down on the life you have.
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There is opportunity in forcibly rewriting a story, in trying out identities that might not feel true at first.