The Halo Effect: Its Essence and Peculiarities

In today’s article, we’ll look at the concept of the “halo effect” and examine its essence. We’ll also look at its characteristics and try to understand if our pari betting decisions are biased.

A lot of bettors rely on their own intuition when placing bets. They believe that their momentary premonitions about one side of the market arise for a reason and, in their mind, the chances of that team’s success increase significantly. However, it does not work that way – intuition is not a bad thing when dealing with conflict issues, but in sports betting it is clearly not worth relying on it too much. The main reason why this should not be done is the “halo effect”, which we propose to talk about in more detail. How does it arise and what effect does it have on decision making in betting?

“The Halo Effect: Essence and Features

Imagine that you have in front of you a comparison of the characters of two people, let it be Sergei and Vasya, with a list of their inner qualities. The set of these qualities will be the same for each, but the order in which they are placed in the text will be different. Suppose that Sergei’s characterization begins with the description “smart” and Vasya’s description “jealous.

Most people, after reading this list, will say that Sergei is a more deserving person than Vasya. But why, since the set of qualities of their characters are the same? It’s because our brain is built in such a way that after the first impression begins to build sequences for a complete evaluation and the starting impulse is very important in this case. The characterization of Sergei began with the fact that he is “smart” and this greatly affects the perception of his further qualities. In Vasya’s case, however, everything happens in the opposite order – the first trait “envious” immediately makes him a negative person and his further qualities are perceived through the prism of this. This phenomenon is called the “halo effect. However, how can it be connected with sports betting? We propose to look into it.

In our example, we suggest replacing people with soccer teams or two tennis players, and change the character traits with the value of their efficiency and effectiveness. You will immediately notice that depending on the order in which the information is presented, the perception of the teams or athletes will also change. Another thing worth mentioning here is the accessibility heuristic. This term means overestimating the importance of events or ideas that are the most memorable and the first to come to mind. The higher a person’s emotional reaction to some events (major victories or series of them), the more accessible this information will be when constructing an evaluation of this or that team. Now that we are clear on the concepts of the “halo effect” and the accessibility heuristic, we suggest considering some examples of their practical application in forecasting.

Brazil’s soccer team

The Brazilian national soccer team is known even to many people far removed from the sport, standing out spectacularly. Members of the gaming community are in awe of the chances of another success for the five-time world champions. For some reason, however, they refuse to recall that all of their World Cup titles were won a long time ago (from 1958 to 1970 and from 1994 to 2002), and in their last three attempts the team did not even make it to the finals.

The most significant success and particular popularity of the Brazilian team achieved during the era of Pele, Alberto Carlos, Rivelin and other legends of Brazilian soccer. At this point and there was a “halo effect,” which has changed the perception of bettors on the clubs and players from this country. It was cemented by the spectacular goals and combinations with which the “wizards of the ball” delighted in the world forums in that period.

The current generation of betting players may well not know all the details of the fantastic play of the Brazilian national team, but the media constantly support the idea that the players of this team always have excellent skills. In this way, the “halo effect” is fueled by more preconceived confirmations, which begins to affect the public’s perception of the Celesão’s current roster and capabilities.

In 2014, however, there was an event at the home World Cup for Brazil that may have contributed to the disappearance of the historical halo of its invincibility. In the match against Germany, the Celesos, being the clear favorites of the entire tournament, lost with a disappointing score of 1:7, which caused just a shock to the local public and not only. After such a defeat many bettors began to assess the chances of the Brazilians to win such important competitions in a slightly different way.

Another example of the “halo effect” is placing high expectations on coaches who used to be very successful players. Statistical studies show that not every former star player can become a strong and successful coach. These professions are fundamentally different and the qualities necessary for success are completely different here.

You can think of Mark Hughes, who shone as a player for Manchester United and Chelsea. Many believed that he would easily reach the same heights as a team manager, but it did not happen. And these examples of unsuccessful coaching career in the former famous players a lot. The book “The Man Who Changed Everything” covers this topic in detail and you can read its contents if you wish.

Reverse “halo effect”

It is worth noting that the “halo effect” can also work in reverse. Let’s say that you didn’t like some detail of the hotel interior or the way you were met there. This will form a negative opinion about the other services in the hotel, and you will be skeptical of everything about it, no matter how well everything turned out later. It works on the same principle in betting – unimportant achievements of a team at a certain stage change the subsequent assessments of its chances of success and make you doubt its strength and effectiveness.

If an athlete or team, considered quite promising, loses in the final stage of a tournament, after that you are unlikely to bet on their success in the future. However, if they had a few important accomplishments under their belt before then, even a failure at some point in their career would be viewed more leniently. Betting players often overlook such young and rising stars simply because they have not yet achieved any success.


As a conclusion to today’s material, I would like to mention again that intuition can help a person avoid danger or even save his life, but you should not rely on it much when evaluating the statistics and the chances of the parties to succeed in sports. Our brain works in such a way that often its premonitions are not based on any logical data and can lead to failure in terms of losing the bankroll.

Before placing a bet, you should try to discover three reasons why you should not bet on this particular outcome. One should also ignore information from the media, which often glorifies a particular team or athlete based on their personal reasons. Betting players should always keep in mind the “halo effect” and take their understanding of the situation as a whole to a new level in order to succeed in betting and make profits in the long run.

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