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    "In the zone", "hot hand", sports superstitions

    It's kind of long, but a very interesting read. Discusses the "myth" of basketball players being "in the zone", and other phenomenon.

    Are these real phenomenon, or are we finding meaning in random sequences?

    What do you think?

    Skeptic eSkeptic Wednesday, April 7th, 2010


    Forever trying to find a cure for the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

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    Re: "In the zone", "hot hand", sports superstitions

    It absolutely exists. No question about it. I don't care what science says, not everything can be proved/disproved.



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    Re: "In the zone", "hot hand", sports superstitions

    I only skimmed through some of the article, but it seemed like the author was just trying to apply the idea that the gambler's fallacy doesn't exist in sports.

    The gambler's fallacy would predict that if you tossed a coin and got heads 5 times in a row, tails is now more likely to be tossed. The reverse is also a theory, so heads would continue. This is the one that deals with hot streaks.

    The problem is, players aren't tossing coins or dealing cards. There is not a set "chance" of making a 3 pointer, a QB thowing an accurate pass to a WR on a deep post, or a baseball player getting a hit because there are extra variables.

    Confidence, I would say, is the variable that applies when talking about being in the zone or having a hot hand. The Peyton Mannings and Kobe Bryants of the world show this with their performances. How many times have you been watching a game and had a strong feeling that a football team was going to make a game-winning drive, or a basketball was going to make his next shot to tie the game late in the 4th? I would argue that, if you can feel that just by observing the game, then the players certainly feel it, and it helps drive their performance.

    Finally, if you've had ample practice at something so that you have a solid muscle memory of how to do it, then you can get in the zone. You know when it's happening too. Like if you're practicing free throws and you get hot you don't have to try to consciously make all the correct, little movements that you may have just been struggling to do consistently 2 minutes ago.

    I would talk a little bit about how being in the zone occurs in a very small sample size, but that would go against my argument.



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    Re: "In the zone", "hot hand", sports superstitions

    The confidence factor was exactly what came to mind when I read the article. That's an intangible that certainly factors into success, and the author didn't account for it in this article.


    Forever trying to find a cure for the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

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