What is confirmation bias?
Just like a football or tennis player, who wants to be the best in the world, must be aware of his/her weaknesses, tipster, who seeks success, must know what he/she lacks. The phycological aspect must be the one you have to work on the most because quite often it acts the way you don’t intend it to.
One of the most interesting things in bettor’s phycology is confirmation bias. What is it? Let’s find out together. Confirmation bias is something we get when making a statement, which we further have to find arguments for, avoiding the ones that are against. Seems complicated? We promise you, it only looks like that on first sight.
Grifting the statement
So, coming back to betting. Let’s say that we want to place a wager on a football match between Portugal and Italy. You already have your ideas and plan to tip on a Portugal victory, but you decide to make an analysis to be surer and leave all the doubts aside.
As a result, you get this information:
- Christiano Ronaldo won’t play due to the injury
- Italian have better win/loss ration
- Portugal beat England during the friendly match a week ago
- Italians won 5 last matches and haven’t lost in last 9
- Nobody has scored on Italians in the last 3 matches
Guess what information your brain will pick as the most important? Bingo! Of course, the one about Portugal beating England national team. Moreover, you will completely avoid the fact, that it was just a friendly match (dominated by English squad), during which the main Portugees weapon - CR7 got slightly injured leaving him on the bench for the next fixture.
Although, the Italian winning streak and their win/loss ration didn’t seem to impress you at all. You already made your decision and now is the moment when the confirmation bias kicks in, that will try to make you think you made the right decision instead of alerting you about the possibility of choosing a better option.
How to deal with confirmation bias?
It is not as hard as it might look like. Christoph Lichtenberg, a German scientist, once said a very wise thing, the moment we learn about our weaknesses is the moment, they’ll sport bothering us. It is exactly like that with confirmation bias. Being aware of such a thing as confirmation bias and how it prevents us from making the right decision and assessing the risk, we can easily handle it. How?
It would be enough to just do a detailed and thorough analysis for every bet you’re trying to place, evaluating every for and against argument & giving some extra thought for the arguments supporting your initial idea.
Another useful trick is to find 3 arguments against even the most certain bet. For example, the match between Barca (home) and Malaga (away), where Barca is a big favourite to win, which is the most probable outcome. However, you still have to consider the fact that Barcelona has an important Champions League match in few days and will not play 2 of its main defenders, moreover, the match is scheduled on Sunday at 13:00 meaning we should not expect too much competitiveness.
Even if after those 3 counter-arguments you still see the value in Barca’s win, you can place your bet, leaving all the seconds thought behind & knowing that you have done an excellent job. You’ve done everything you could, and whether the tip will be successful or not is a whole another thing.