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Adam Interviews Fantasy Sports guru

UofR's Renee Miller can name your biggest fantasy sports opponent

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC-TV) - Worms make decisions and Renee Miller studies those decisions.
 
More accurately, the University of Rochester neuroscientist changes things about the worms then studies the worms' decisions.
 
On the side she plays Daily Fantasy Sports, or DFS.
 
More accurately, she plays fantasy sports then studies fantasy sports decisions.
 
“You get (from worms to DFS) through decision making, I guess,” Miller said. “So if I'm interested in sex differences in decision making I have to know something about decision making in general.”
 
That means while this neuroscientist was playing fantasy sports many worms ago she couldn't help but wonder if her knowledge of decision making could be applied to the choices of fantasy sports players.
 
She came down on cognitive biases, which push people to make unwise fantasy decisions for reasons they're not even aware of.
 
“One of the ones we're really guilty of is recency,” Miller said. “If someone is on a hot streak we expect the hot streak to continue and this dates back evolutionarily to if you went to the berry patch and there were fresh berries the past three times you would have every reasonable expectation there would be berries at that patch the fourth time you went, but sports doesn't always work that way.”
 
Her writing on this subject now has a national audience on outlets like ESPN.com.
 
“It's exciting, like a dream come true, really. I never thought that when I started translating my neuroscience to sports, thoughts that were in my head, that it would go that far, it's been really gratifying to be recognized by the top sports writing talent and be part of it,” Miller said.
 
Miller has written a book on the subject called “Cognitive Bias in Fantasy Sports: Is Your Brain Sabotaging Your Team?”
 
Asked how one can eliminate cognitive biases, Miller said, “It's going to be hard to get rid of them entirely, but knowing some of the common mistakes people make in their decision making can go a long way to kind of clicking that, oh wait, am I really making an unbiased choice by drafting this player?”

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