Sports Betting Psychology Vs Urban Legend

Every industry has its urban legends. And it just so happens that the sports betting industry has more than most. The trick is obviously to discern between facts and myths – between psychology and good old urban legend. A variety of factors come into play when determining which is which and since we’re dealing with human beings, one man’s superstition is another man’s winning trick to live by.

At the end of the day, its up to each punter to decide what it is that rings truest for him or her. These are just some of our favourite “truisms” discovered over the course of literally years listening to sports bettors tell their stories and share their personal snippets of advice. Practical psychology or urban legend? You decide.

Bet Hungry Or Don’t Bet At All

Strange but true, this one is actually backed by marketing research. Conventional wisdom (and even some fields of psychology) dictates that he (or she!) who is hungry is better able to value and appreciate the prospect of a future award. And so, the human mind’s natural inclination is do whatever it is that it can in order to make that reward happen. The gist of it then: instead of going shopping when hungry, bide hungry times wisely by wagering that bet.

Mind That Bad Moon Rising

The moon holds a mystical place all throughout the history of human culture. Which would probably explain the thousands of (mostly contrasting) theories about moon madness, or moon lunacy. But even though none other than Sir Isaac Newton famously concocted quite a few theories around the gravitational pull of the moon and its effects on the fluids within the human body, psychologists aren’t quite convinced that a thing such as moon madness actually exists.

But with that having been said, many bettors do. Or rather, many bettors believe that no bet should ever be wagered by the light of the full moon.

Commitments & Perceptions

Studies show that bettors will often change their minds about an outcome for absolutely no apparent reason. This includes the very act of having wagered a bet. It seems we’re so eager to achieve success, that we’re willing to ‘bet’ on the fact that we’re correct in whatever our prediction happens to be.

This is a phenomenon referred to as “sunk cost fallacy” – and yes, it really does exist. But no investment, big or small, will ever have any sort of bearing on the outcome of a bet. The two simply aren’t at all related.

A Very Sticky Story

We’ve all been there – sticking to a story even know logic dictates that we really should be open to more possibilities. Seeking out evidence that will support an existing point of view, or mindset, is a very human (if mistaken) thing to do.

And sadly bettors aren’t immune to the fallacy known as “confirmation bias”. Psychologists put this down to a sad case of information overload. Meaning that its easier to stick to our stories than to have to process a world of information all over again in order to come up with a new story.