How Confirmation Bias Affects Sports Betting



Confirmation Bias is a term used to describe a major mistake that casual sports bettors tend to make all of the time. Have you ever decided to bet on a team, then decided not to change your mind after you found new information that might indicate it’s smarter to bet on their opponent? If you have, then you were probably the victim of confirmation bias. The biggest problem is that in the modern world there is so much information out there and so many different ways to acquire it. Here is a look at how confirmation bias affects sports betting.

Explaining Confirmation Bias

The theory behind confirmation bias is easy to understand. Humans prefer to stick to what they know rather than change their opinions based on new evidence. Instead of objectively analyzing new information we discover, we instinctively pay attention to certain sources and disregard others that challenge our existing conceptions. This can have an obvious negative impact for bettors since any increase in subjectivity can move people away from making accurate predictions. The majority of people like to stick with what they know and gather as much information as possible to support what they already believe rather than carefully considering alternate theories. This is true in everyday life and in terms of the sports betting world.

How To Stop Confirmation Bias

In order to help stop confirmation bias, sports bettors should try to objectively and logically experience countering points of view. For example, if the New England Patriots are hosting the New York Jets in an NFL game on Monday Night Football and you want to bet on the Patriots, just make sure you consider the contrarian view. What are those that are betting on the Jets basing their wagers on? Why are they so confident that they are right and you are wrong? By considering the contrarian view, you will limit your confirmation bias and open the door to correct any narrow, possibly incorrect views you might have. It’s impossible to be completely objective in all sports betting situations but making sure that you are well informed can help limit potential bias and make sure that you don’t overlook the important information that could help you make a substantial profit when it comes to sports betting.

Outlook

The bottom line is that humans prefer to stick what they know rather than change their opinions based on new evidence that could contradict their initial outlook. This same problem occurs all of the time with casual sports betting fans so it’s important to make an effort to prevent it. Studies have shown that casual bettors can fall in to the trap of confirmation bias without even realizing it so it’s important to make a conscious effort to be aware of it. Make an effort to understand as much about both sides of the equation as possible and you will avoid making the same mistakes as so many other players have made over the years. It’s impossible to completely eliminate any bias from a wager but by limiting it and being aware of the potential missteps we can effectively eliminate confirmation bias.