The 'Hot Hand' Myth in Professional Basketball

Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, Vol. 25, p. 253, 2003

8 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 2009

Date Written: 2003

Abstract

The 'hot hand' describes the belief that the performance of an athlete, typically a basketball player, temporarily improves following a string of successes. Although some earlier research failed to detect a hot hand, these studies are often criticized for using inappropriate settings and measures. The present study was designed with these criticisms in mind. It offers new evidence in a unique setting, the NBA Long Distance Shootout contest, using various measures. Traditional sequential dependency runs analyses, individual level analyses, and an analysis of spontaneous outbursts by contest announcers about players who are 'on fire' fail to reveal evidence of a hot hand. We conclude that declarations of hotness in basketball are best viewed as historical commentary rather than as prophecy about future performance.

Keywords: Momentum, streaks, probability

Suggested Citation

Koehler, Jonathan J. and Conley, Caryn, The 'Hot Hand' Myth in Professional Basketball (2003). Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, Vol. 25, p. 253, 2003. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1469609

Jonathan J. Koehler (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Pritzker School of Law ( email )

375 E. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

Caryn Conley

Florida Atlantic University ( email )

Boca Raton, FL 33431
United States

New York University (NYU) ( email )

Bobst Library, E-resource Acquisitions
20 Cooper Square 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10003-711
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
820
rank
26,736
Abstract Views
3,539
PlumX