UK psychologists at Warwick University claim that the risks that gamblers make are similar to the actions of greedy pigeons.
"Both humans and pigeons were shown to be less risk averse for high rewards than they were for low rewards and this is linked to our past memories and experiences of making risky decisions," said Dr. Elliot Ludvig,, one of the authors.
"When people gamble, they often rely on past experiences with risk and rewards to make decisions. What we found in this study is that both gamblers and pigeons used these past experiences in very similar ways to guide their future gambling decisions."
"Birds are distantly related to humans, yet we still share the same basic psychology that drives risk-taking," Ludvig said. "This may be due to a shared common ancestry or similar evolutionary pressures."