Most of us have won a game we had never played before. Often people immediately talk about beginner’s luck. But does that really exist?
The reality is that the effects of this supposed beginner’s luck are very real causes. You can even reproduce them under the right circumstances. Here’s how beginner happiness works.
Beginner’s luck doesn’t exist
First of all, beginner’s luck does not really exist. First, it is important to understand what we are actually talking about. There are many reasons why a beginner can perform well. But we should not forget that they perform poorly much more often. When you see an expert lose to a novice, you are quick to call out that it is beginner’s luck. Simply because it is generally assumed that this kind of luck exists.
What is probably happening right now is that you are ignoring the causes of why this beginner is performing so well. If you accept beginner’s luck as an explanation, you throw away all sorts of data that could easily justify what happened. Maybe the expert was tired or did something gigantically wrong.
Beginners often know no pressure
A beginner is often unencumbered by any knowledge and therefore does not know whether he is doing something right or wrong. This can be dangerous because it means they might try something stupid. But it can also be hugely beneficial because it means they will find a more creative solution and take valuable risks without actually realizing it.
When an expert tries to analyze a strategy that is not a strategy at all, that expert will probably fail and the beginner will probably win. The same is also true when people first start playing at an online casino. If they then win right away everyone immediately shouts that it is beginner’s luck. But if you look at it analytically, a few percent of players always win. So also the first time.
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Experts experience more pressure and can choke
If you are good at something, you are under a lot of pressure to keep performing at that high level. This can cause you to choke under pressure, even if you are dealing with a complete novice.
Under pressure, the prefrontal cortex (the front part of our brain that sits above our eyes)can begin to work differently. This can result in a lack of brain capacity available for demanding thinking and reasoning tasks. However, under pressure we also often try to control what we do in an effort to ensure success. Too much focus on the details of activities that are best left out of conscious awareness.
Beginners don’t have these problems because they don’t really care how they perform. In all likelihood, they assume that they will lose if they go up against someone with great skill. If you don’t care about the result, you won’t be hampered by the pressure to perform.