Betting bias - How bookmakers make money because of our cognitive biases 3 confirmation bias
The betting bias known as confirmation bias basically refers to the tendency we have to be protective of our own current beliefs. Also, information we have processed and interpreted very subjectively are near and dear to us. The more emotionally rooted or the deeper this opinion or information sits in our soul, the stronger this betting bias becomes. It is not so difficult to understand why. As these things are important to us, and may even define who we are, we don’t want to get this wrong. The cost of being wrong can easily lead to unwanted and uncomfortable social situations as well as a downgrade of how people view us. Most of us really don’t want to risk this.
Confirmation bias in betting
The obvious example is the Liverpool FC supporter loving his football club above family and all else. It is probably emotionally stimulating to participate in the groupthink and mood swings of the supporters, but it is not a good starting point for betting. Most likely your Liverpool to win betting picks will be way too many to justify when looking at the odds in a more analytical way. You will be giving too much weight to the skills of the individual players; you will give too much weight to the managerial team. Probably you will think lesser of the opposition too as a result of your betting bias.
It doesn’t matter how much you love Liverpool FC or any other club. When you wager money on the outcome of a football betting event you got to take your supporter hat off and replace it with one that keeps your brain focused and cold.
You can also think of the focus national, regional and local media put on events relating to sports participants and their success. If you are born and raised in Brazil chances are you are fed sports propaganda about the national soccer team for instance. You will see endless video clips of stars of yesteryear, read about the “gods” of the current teams and so on and so forth. All this manipulated information combined with your Brazilian background will give you a really tricky starting point when picking bets that have Brazilian players involved. When the soccer World Cup comes around and Brazil plays the other big boys it is easy to let all this emotionally rooted “information” gets the best of you. This example can easily be transferred to smaller stages than the national, and furthermore it can be applied to any sport. You just got to see through the hype and look at the facts.
Another example of how we pick up information and interpret it in a biased way is found in American football. Ask most experts and they will tell you that defense is what wins championships. This might be partially accurate. It may even be the most important factor. However, if you spend twenty-three seconds analyzing it you realize it takes a quality offense to score points. To ignore this aspect is foolish at best. Yet, this information, and a lot of similar information is broadcasted in every media channel several times each season. It becomes a part of our beliefs and truths. Really, it is nothing but brainwashing, and we should be able to analyze much better than that.
Betting bias – end note
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