Change Psychology: Clustering Illusion

recently wrote about building up a resource for Change knowledge here within this very Blog. Finally I got the time to deal with some basic psychological questions of Change. I am looking forward to be able to share those insights on “Change Psychology” with you, here.

We often see patterns where they do not exist. This is particularly true of gamblers who desperately try to ‘beat the system’ by seeing patterns of events in cards and other games of chance. We are ‘pattern machines’ and recognize people and things from their overall pattern rather than full detail. This is very useful, but it does also mean we can see patterns where there are none.

Gilovich, Vallone and Tversky investigated the myth of the ‘hot hand’ in basketball where players are supposed to have winning streaks. It turned out that it was all random patterns.

Is ‘OXXXOXXXOXXOOOXOOXXOO’ random? Or can you see patterns? Many could, yet it is almost perfectly random.

Using it
Use patterns of events in your persuasive pitch. People will likely cotton on and believe you.

Think hard before betting on any apparent pattern, especially if somebody else is selling it to you.

Psychology of Change (Picture source: article taken from
Psychology of Change (Picture source:
Original article taken from

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