The Epistemology of the Near Miss and Its Potential Contribution in the Prevention and Treatment of Problem-Gambling

  • Cătălin BărboianuEmail author
Original Paper


The near-miss has been considered an important factor of reinforcement in gambling behavior, and previous research has focused more on its industry-related causes and effects and less on the gaming phenomenon itself. The near-miss has usually been associated with the games of slots and scratch cards, due to the special characteristics of these games, which include the possibility of pre-manipulation of award symbols in order to increase the frequency of these “engineered” near-misses. In this paper, we argue that starting from a basic mathematical description of the classical (by pure chance) near-miss, generalizable to any game, and focusing equally on the epistemology of its constitutive concepts and their mathematical description, we can identify more precisely the fallacious elements of the near-miss cognitive effects and the inadequate perception and representation of the observational–intentional “I was that close.” This approach further suggests a strategy of using non-standard mathematical knowledge of an epistemological type in problem-gambling prevention and cognitive therapies.


Near-miss Mathematical education Gambling mathematics Cognitive therapy Epistemology of mathematics Mathematical modeling 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of BucharestTârgu JiuRomania

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