Sunday 26 October 2008

Handling Stress

I read an interesting article in Science magazine this week about how people respond in times of stress.

A recent study by scientists in Illinois and Texas found that when people feel out of control, common sense tends to go out the window, and they "start subscribing to conspiracy theories and superstitions, and seeing patterns where none exist". (Sound familiar, with the "it's a fix" wailings on the Betfair forum?)

Apparently, these findings support earlier studies from the Great Depression days when astrology and horoscopes became increasingly popular.

Personally, I find that handling stress is something I have been able to improve on, although physiologically my heart-rate still betrays me. (There's a certain sum of money that I can handle losing without stressing, but I haven't figured out what it is yet - but four figures will do it!).

So my decision making is more rational these days, and I find that trading sports in-play, it is often possible to see the scared money and take advantage of other peoples irrational decisions as they stroke their lucky rabbit's foot or pray to an imaginary man in the sky, who let's face, if he did exist, would hardly give a shit about you and your losing bet!

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