Notes on the Psychology of the Betting Market: Error Correction
Financial and betting market decision-making is influenced by a complex interplay of past experiences, current perceptions, cognitive biases, emotions, unconscious biases, context, belief formation, and the individual's own blindspots, as well as the use of heuristics and the impact of framing and context. The latter can hinder accurate understanding, leading to misinterpretation of information, incorrect causal attributions, and a misunderstanding of what is salient. Blindspots such as overconfidence, hubris, groupthink, and systemic biases, as well as misattributing causation, rushing to complete patterns, misunderstanding salience, flawed beliefs, and the use of heuristics, must be recognized and addressed to make informed and unbiased decisions in these markets. To achieve this, individuals must acknowledge their own blindspots, regularly evaluate their beliefs, consider multiple perspectives and interpretations, and actively work to overcome them through self-reflection, seeking out diverse perspectives, relying on data and objective metrics, regularly assessing and updating strategies and practicing emotional regulation, metamemory monitoring and mood management.
Self-awareness and self-reflection: Regularly reflect on your own biases and blindspots, and try to understand how they may be influencing your decision making process. At its most simple, the intersection of the anchoring and confirmation bias can create a vicious cycle for traders, where the influence of past prices and information can reinforce these biases further and make it difficult for traders to make objective decisions (in nuce, initial beliefs and expectations can influence their interpretation of subsequent information/traders exhibit a tendency to over-weight information that confirms their prior beliefs and under-weight information that contradicts them). This can create a double bind situation where traders are caught in a downward spiral of relying on biased information and being unable to escape it. And that
is where the first trade of the day goes wrong.
Diversify your information sources: Avoid relying on only one source of information, and instead seek out a variety of perspectives to gain a more comprehensive understanding.
In some cases, individuals who are highly skilled or knowledgeable in a particular area may develop a strong sense of confidence in their abilities and beliefs. This confidence can sometimes lead to a refusal to consider alternative perspectives or evidence that contradicts their beliefs, which can be considered a form of delusion. Additionally, their level of skill or knowledge in their area of expertise can sometimes make it easier for them to influence others and present themselves as more authoritative or trustworthy, even when their views are not based on a full or accurate understanding of the situation.
Seek out disconfirming information: Seek out information that challenges your beliefs and assumptions to help you better understand your blindspots. Accept others may know
more than you do.
Maintain an open mind: Remain open to new information and be willing to adjust your views and beliefs as you learn more. Closing prices in a betting market
contain 25% more information that at any previous point in the trading cycle.
Challenge groupthink: Be willing to question the opinions of others and to challenge group consensus, even when it goes against popular opinion.
The fact that a horse is being backed on the oddschecker is not a clear signal about anything.
Stay disciplined: Adhere to a trading strategy and stick to your risk management plan, even in the face of temptation and emotional reactions.
Regularly evaluate your performance: Regularly evaluate your performance and be willing to make adjustments to your strategy as needed.
Seek out expert advice: Consult with experienced traders, financial advisors, or psychologists to help you better understand your blindspots and biases.
Metamemory monitoring: introspection on memory accuracy forms the basis for making effective decisions and for regulating behavior.
Observing is never neutral or impartial. Our perceptions are influenced by our personal beliefs and perspectives, leading to subjective interpretations of reality. We often simplify complex situations, prioritize convenience over significance, and let our biases and personal motivations impact our analysis. As we strive to categorize and differentiate, we may overlook the aspects that are most meaningful. Thus, observation and interpretation are inherently relative, shaped by the individual's experiences and perspectives. To simply stop and ask yourself why am I doing this; why am I drawing this particular distinction and what is it that I am deciding it is ok to exclude is always a better start than merely acting on impulse.
To cite this article: Niall O'Connor
Notes on the Psychology of the Betting Market: Error Correction (Published on Bettingmarket.com 06/03/2023. From the series Notes on the Psychology of Trading. All Rights Reserved.)