Study proves that winning streaks are NOT ‘all in the mind’

By | October 11, 2011

Lebron James takes a free throw in the 2010 NBA season - researchers found that players ARE more likely to land a hit after a first successful shot. The research could have implications far beyond basketballRob 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. …

via Study proves that winning streaks are NOT ‘all in the mind’ | Mail Online.

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.).

0 thoughts on “Study proves that winning streaks are NOT ‘all in the mind’

  1. Brendan Curry

    Not to mention missing a shot diminishes confidence, and inversely making a shot increases it. An increase in confidence could easily explain it couldn’t it?

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