Rob Waugh – Scientists have long shaken their heads over the idea of the ‘winning streak’ – and put the effect down to human difficulties in understanding probability.
But winning streaks may not be in the eye of the beholder after all.
A new study by Yale School of Medicine researchers proves that the ‘hot hand’ effect observed by basketball fans – where athletes are more likely to hit a throw after landing a winning shot, does in fact exist.
Published online in the journal PLoS ONE, the study analyzed five years of NBA free throws – 330,000 all told – and found that athletes WERE more likely to land a shot following a successful throw.
It was a far larger amount of data than was used in previous studies – which concluded that the effect was an illusion created by people ‘reading’ patterns into random data.
The new, larger-scale analysis found that the ‘hot hand’ does exist – statistically speaking, players ARE more likely to land a free throw after a successful hit. …
The writer of this article seems not to understand the difference between games of skill and games of chance. Shooting in basketball involves a bit of both, but if you are warmed up, the study says you do better on the next shot. This is not a shock. What is a shock to me is that anyone could try to claim that this is proof winning streaks exist in games of pure chance such ( slot machines, winning the lottery, etc.).