betting bias - How bookmakers make money because of our cognitive biases – part 4 – the empathy gap
We trust you have read our other betting bias articles. If you haven’t we hope you will take the time to go through them as well. It may save your betting bankroll a few blows.
The empathy gap betting bias
This betting bias or cognitive bias is based on the belief that as humans our perception is dependent of the state we are currently in. Either we are hot, or we are cold. This meaning that we are affected in our decision making by anger, joy and other feelings to the point they dictate the outcome of the decision process. Another way of saying it is that we often tend to overlook visceral drives as a decisive force when we make decisions. The state we are in makes it difficult for us to envision that one can feel different than we do right now.
Empathy gap in sports betting
This article will focus on the empathy gap with regard to sports betting. This betting bias is a common occurrence when we look at poker players. Someone that takes a bad beat and loses a rather big pot will often let the emotion of anger or being treated unfair take them over, then play foolishly over the next few hand resulting in losing a lot of their money. This is also in poker known as going on tilt.
Tilting in the sports betting world also happens quite often to many gamblers. Here is one example for you; you worked so hard handicapping the English Premier League that Saturday morning but still went 0-4 on your wagers. Perhaps were a couple of them totally against the run of play. Perhaps the ref was blind on an occasion or two.
The feeling of injustice may now start to sneak into your head, and you end up thinking that you are due for a rebound. Your decisions may get distorted by the said emotion, and you load up on the Sunday fixtures or take shots at leagues or sports you really don’t have the expertise needed to handicap profitably. Usually this thinking only gets you further in the hole.
Another example of this may be if you are so stupid that you bet under the influence of alcohol or God forbid even worse drugs. Not only is it more likely in our opinion that you are going to let your current mood state dictate your betting, it is also more likely that your decisions will be even more biased. We have seen a couple of successful punters and good fellow citizens fall victim to this don’t let that happen to you.
Perhaps are you in a hefty fight with the wife. She has been bitching and moaning for weeks about that tiny leak under the kitchen sink. Now, forty-five minutes to kick off she wants you to fix it, or else. You go through the arguing routine one more time, grab the metal tape and line up a short term fix any man could be proud off. Red faced and ill-tempered you shoe off in lightning speed to the local betting shop, still having the “kind words” of your missus ringing in your ears. Do you think you are going to make a good decision at the betting shop? Sure, some super humans probably can overcome this dispute and pick soccer bets like a champion. Most of us however, can’t. In our anger and state of huff and puff we will line up one bad betting object after the other.
Empathy gap – making the problem worse
In our experience it is common that people not only make poor betting decisions when emotionally disturbed. They tend to follow up those poor decisions with rather pathetic decisions. One example of this is when normally very cool, flat-bet Joe, goes on a rage infused betting spree wagering multiple times his normal stakes because his girlfriend wanted to watch EastEnders rather than Newcastle versus Aston Villa. Another may be that of Asian odds, single bet specialist George who bet his remaining account balance on a six fold football accumulator immediately after that bloody Spurs keeper saved the penalty deep into injury time and denied him a new personal betting best. Normally he would never even bet a double, but not tonight. It cost him dearly.
Betting bias – end notes
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