A recent paper from Korea University Business School suggests that thinking too specifically when trying to predict an outcome makes you less likely to get it right.
Researchers compared predictions made about the overall outcome (win/draw/lose) of sporting events with predictions made about the actual scoreline. Scoreline predictions are also overall outcome predictions—e.g. if the score is Manchester United 3, Arsenal 1, then that is a win for Manchester United. Hence, scoreline predictions are a “more detailed” approach to predicting the overall outcome.
Analysis of 19 billion commercial bets suggested that people do worse when they attempt to predict the scoreline. These findings were confirmed in laboratory experiments.
The paper offers the insight that, in studying the minutiae, we may miss factors that have a much greater impact—i.e. we miss the forest for the trees.
So, less thinking = better results. Great.