Coincidences happen to everyon, wwhether it's hearing a song you've been thinking about all day on the radio, or running into an old acquaintance whose name recently came up in conversation. For events so seemingly unlikely, coincidences certainly have a way of happening quite often. And now, after much study, psychologists and mathematicians think they know why.
According to their research, many of the events we deem coincidental are actually the result of the way we think, behave, and otherwise interact with our environments. Statisticians are now arguing that in some cases, these rare occurrences are actually mathematically inevitable.
This hour, we talk about the surprising new research on the nature of coincidences in our daily lives. We also hear from experts about the mathematics and psychology behind gambling, the lottery, and other games of chance.
- David J. Hand - Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at Imperial College, London and author of The Improbability Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles, and Rare Events Happen Every Day
- Magda Osman - Senior Lecturer in Experimental Cognitive psychology at Queen Mary University of London and author of Future Minded: The Psychology of Agency and Control
- Mark Bollman - Chair of the Mathematics and Computer Science Department at Albion College in Michigan and author of Basic Gambling Mathematics: The Numbers Behind The Neon
- “Children of Coincidence” by Dory Previn
- “Do You Believe In Coincidence” by Anne Abercrombie
- “Coincidentally” by Smokey Robinson
Colin McEnroe and Chion Wolf contributed to this show, which originally aired on November 3rd, 2015.