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March Madness Betting Psychology

Betting on March Madness Lessens the Fun

Most of you — 84 percent — said that March Madness betting is all in good fun, in a recent poll. But did you know that the enjoyment you get while watching the college basketball games will be reduced if you're betting on the outcome? In fact, it even "ruins it for many people," says Stephen Nowlis, professor of marketing at Washington University. Fortune cites Nowlis:

It's basic psychology, he says: lay down a bet for a team to win, and you'll feel jittery and anxious as you watch. We are our own worst enemies.

Everyone may have conflicting opinions about Nowlis's theory. Those who participate (but aren't in it to win) in a betting pool can probably laugh off their losses more easily than those who take it seriously. If you have money on the line, seeing your favored team losing will probably hit you more negatively. What do you think — does betting take the fun away from March Madness?

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