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• What is confirmation bias?
The theory behind “Confirmation Bias” is simple.
People prefer to stick to what they know, rather than change their opinion based on new information.
This increase in subjectivity is a huge NEGATIVE for sports bettors, as it takes your attention away from information that could have given you the advantage.
• How to avoid Information overload
Google has provided a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate the power of confirmation bias.
Choose one of the following conspiracy theories that you disagree with:
“We never landed on the moon”
“Storm Area 51”
“9/11 was an inside job”
Now take one theory and search it in Google. You’ll find millions of results logically discussing an objectively very suspect theory. The second result for Moon landings is titled “100% proof we never walked on the Moon”.
Page two for aliens offers a huge list of reasons why we should raid Area 51, while 9/11 has “Facts Proving 9/11 Was an INSIDE JOB”.
The chances are that none of the webpages you’ve just looked at have changed your opinions, despite the vast number of them. Of course, in this case that could be considered sensible, but it shows that despite 549 million results (in the case of 9/11), pre-set opinions are difficult to change.
People prefer to stick to what they know, rather than change their opinions based on new Information.
The same occurrence happens when weighing up sports teams For example, most people consider Brazil an excellent team, despite winning just 54.3% from 36 games prior to the 2013 Confederations Cup.
Stock market investing is not that different to the sports betting market. In fact, a study by Park et al in 2010, showed that investors gathered information about a prospective stock by looking for information that confirmed their existing opinions about that particular stock.
The investors who experienced the strongest confirmation bias made the LEAST money.
Bias also extends to track your own betting success. Because we all want to believe we’re doing well, we’re prone to bias our performance, and remember our wins much more strongly than our losses.
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• How to put a stop to confirmation bias
To relieve the effects of confirmation bias, ALWAYS try to take an objective approach by weighing up new information and challenging your existing opinion.
This way, you’ll make you a savvier bettor.
Until next time,
The Winning Streak Team
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