Life's A Bitch When Betting From Your Deck Chair

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This chair I'm sitting feels a little hard. As I'm getting on in years (joke) perhaps I should give a comfy rocker a test drive. That's a rocking chair not an affluent, long-haired bloke with an electric guitar. That deck chair on the beach looks inviting. The sound of the sea, gulls calling... peace and harmony. The perfect situation to take your phone from your pocket and place a bet. 




I guess you are wondering why I'm talking about chairs. After all, this website is about the psychology of gambling not a subdivision of Ikea. Trust me, if I thought I could sell you a chair I would have a link to one of those Han's Wegner wonderbars (basically a super cool chair). But wait a minute, check out the chair you are sitting this moment because it might have a little more importance than you thought.

Psychology and the influence of the unconscious mind is becoming an important factor of understanding the human condition and particularly how this relates to our modern world. Whether we like it or not, psychology is becoming a tool of advantage to the extent that companies are paying fortunes with regard to the fascinating world of neuromarketing.

So what about that chair? Well, for the first time I can tell you that a chair isn't just something you sit on. All those years and I just hadn't seen the wood for the chairs. So what's your favourite seating arrangement? A Han's Werger, stool, bean bag or the classic poof? I don't think I would have the confidence to go into a shop and ask for a classic poof! But back to the chairs. More importantly, where do you sit when watching the racing, football or whatever sport tickles your fancy? Being specific, have you ever considered that the chair which you sit may change your betting performance? I must admit - even with my interest in psychology - I hadn't considered this point until reading an article written by Jeremy Mercer: Exploring the Promise and the Perils of the New Unconscious.

In 2009, a group of students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology took part in a study on ''bargaining techniques''. The students were seated in an office, shown a car listed at $16,500 and told to get the best possible price. Offers were made and rejected, deals struck, and then the students went on their way, from what seemed a straightforward negotiation.

However, this experiment was rather remarkable in the fact that it tested whether people could be unconsciously influenced through the sense of touch. Basically, could the chair that you sit have an influence on your behaviour? Half of the students sat on hard wooden seats while the others sat on soft cushioned chairs. It was found that those sitting on hard chairs were less flexible in their negotiations and offered less money - on average $347 less - to purchase the car. 

It was concluded that hard surfaces make people ''harder'' when negotiating because the hardness triggers concepts of stability, which the unconscious brain translates into a more confident bargaining position. This ''hard chair effect'' is part of new research which unlocks the mysteries of the human unconscious and the power it can harness. 

Next time you consider a bet, take a moment to consider how your environment may effect your unconscious mind. With further research, it is possible bookmakers may be using this new technology to hinder your success.