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By: Ashleigh Lauren Johnson

2 min read

A Fox Or A Hedgehog? Accessing Predictive Ability In Sports Betting | Altenar

When players look at their predictive ability, from selecting which matches to place a bet on to the final result of a game they participate in a long-thought-out process of how the human brain successfully predicts or thinks about uncertainties, resulting in whether the player thinks like a fox or a hedgehog.  


This thesis dates back to the Greek poet Archilochus who suggested that ‘foxes know many things and the hedgehog one big thing’. Since this point, many important thinkers have expanded on this idea and suggest that it applies to many aspects of everyday life outside of gambling. The many spheres span politics, civic planning and finance, whilst generally relating to how people think. 


So, what are the characteristics of thinking like a Fox and thinking like a hedgehog? 


Let’s take a brief look… 



With the above characteristics in mind, Philip Tetlock spent twenty years applying and utilising the Fox Vs Hedgehog distinction and tracking his insights and findings along the way, resulting in great readings for gamblers and those involved in the iGaming industry. 


Tetlock recorded the predictions of government officials, professors, journalists and politicians to discover that from over 28,000 predictions they were only slightly more accurate than chance. You can discover more about Tetlock’s findings in his 2005 book ‘Expert Political Judgement? How good is it? How can we know?’


This potentially demonstrates that a player's predictive ability in iGaming is only slightly better than chance as well.



Can Betting Predictions Be Accurate When Applying This Theorem To Sports Betting?

Knowing whether your players are fox or hedgehog gamers can be easy, and you can present this article to your customers for their opinions on what they would classify themselves as well. 

The above graph demonstrates key characteristics associated with predictive ability and how a thinker will assume one of two of the roles… The fox appears to be more agile by nature and provides ample opportunity for this thinker to be able to access uncertainties better. Though, from Tetlock’s findings, this only marginally grants higher opportunities for success to chance. 

One key thinker for the Fox Vs Hedgehog debate, Bayes who was an 18th-century English Presbyterian Minister, noted that though thinking as a fox does increase the likelihood and success of predictive ability it doesn’t remove the aspect of failure from the predicted outcome. Suggesting that chance still plays a large role in the way the fox predicts as well.

Which way of thinking do you think best suits your players, and if you’re a player, which best applies to you? The Fox or the Hedgehog? 

If you’d like to discover more sports betting psychology articles you can find them on Altenar’s blog page, or you can find out more on Altenar’s amazing statistics, case studies, territories of operation and more at altenar.com. 

If you’re looking to apply Altenar’s sportsbook solution to your new or existing iGaming offering, contact the passionate and award-winning team today to discover why Altenar is the sportsbook provider for you. 

Contact Altenar today for a chat!

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