The majority of handicappers are not very good at their jobs. We’ve established that many times, explained that pick selling is about packaging and not picks, and on and on.
Why, then, are so many mediocre handicappers still in business?
From The Economist:
The need for advice burns so strongly that people become blind to its quality. There is a remarkable tendency to trust experts, even when there is little evidence of their forecasting powers.
The Economist article, which highlights points made in Philip Tetlock’s book, “Expert Political Judgment,” explains common fallacies that the general public falls for when it comes to gauging the need for expert opinions.
Tetlock’s research on political forecasters, for instance, found that the “best” forecasters—those who were quoted by the media most frequently—tended to offer the worst predictions.
The article also addressed why people are so willing to rely on expert opinion:
- They don’t feel like they can sift through all the data and information.
- They desire an “insider’s perspective.”
- Regret avoidance (if desired outcome isn’t reached, blame the expert.)
The full Economist article, viewable here, is worth a read. There are many parallels that can be made to the handicapping industry, and if you’ve ever purchased picks before, it could be an eye opener.