Apologies for the delay in the analysis of this piece but time has got away from in the past week but thankfully the diary has been cleared and I can now look through the data and the outcome of the game between Jiangsu Suning and Shanghai SIPG in the Chinese Super League
Now after the handful of polls that I carried out in the first week of my ‘social experiment’ they were in international tournaments only therefore there was a straight ‘a’ or ‘b’ choice but this poll was different as it was the first time in which a league match was involved.
Obviously with there being a league match it gives us a third choice so the chances of getting the pick correct go from 50% to 33.3%. Therefore the odds have Twitter picking the correct outcome have dropped by 16.7% making life slightly harder for the pollsters.
Let’s firstly take a look at how the Twitter poll panned out
Time for another Scientifc Football Poll and to test something out:
What will the outcome be tomorrow between
— Dan Tracey (@dantracey1983) June 30, 2017
As you can see their was a heavy pick in favour of Shanghai SIPG with 60% of the 35 voters picking them as who they thought would win. So even if we added the Jiangsu and Draw options together it was still a 3:2 ratio in favour of Shanghai.
21 voters plumped for Shanghai and they would be correct as they ran out 1-0 winners in what has to be said was not a particularly pretty affair. But regardless of the quality of the football it is a perfect start for social media in terms of league polls.
And here in my opinion is where it gets interesting as both teams went into the game as 13/8 joint favourites therefore there could be no favourite bias. So why would people pick Shanghai on such a large scale, ultimately it comes down to a familiarity bias.
With the majority of my voters being English based it is fair to say that their knowledge of Chinese football is perhaps limited and certainly not at the level of the Premier League. Therefore if you are presented with a choice between a club you may have heard of versus a club you have never heard of then you are more than likely going to go with the familiar pick.
But you do not even necessarily have to even know about Chinese Super League football to make a qualified pick, if you strip down to a basic level then the behaviour can be explained as such. If you are given a choice between a city you have heard of versus a city you have never heard of then you are more likely going to once again pick the more familiar choice.
Therefore the familiarity bias could have skewed the pick somewhat, the way to now test this is to look for a fixture which has two teams on the same odds but there is a real random factor at play, one that removes both the bias of the favourites and familiarity.
That is something that I will look for this weekend although I need to find a fixture with that exact criteria, there will definitely be one lurking somewhere so then we will have something to compare against in terms of the behaviour of the pollsters.
But hats off to Twitter as you got this one very much correct, I think I’ll use this one as a dummy run and start logging league success once the Premier League starts in earnest next month as I don’t want to skew the results too much. That said there is still a lot we can learn from fixtures from around the globe in the mean time.
Another thing we will have to factor in when the Premier League picks is factors such as form and league position, that is when things will get really interesting, although with that said I hope this was of interest to you also. Thanks for reading, feedback is welcome.
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