Hot Hand Effect


Many sports fans, commentators, players, and even coaches share a belief that a particular player can for some period of time have the hot hand; that is, be “in the zone,” “on a roll,” “unstoppable,” or “playing their A-game.” The hot hand effect refers to the tendency for people to expect streaks in sports performance to continue. For example, people believe that a basketball player's chances of making a shot are higher if the player had just made the previous shots, and gamblers believe in bettors being “on fire” and having lucky winning streaks.

The hot hand effect is typically discussed in two ways. In the basketball-shooting example, the hot hand effect pertains to the belief that a hot player has an increased likelihood of making ...

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