Have you ever had a period in your athletic or professional career where you kind of felt like you were on fire? Maybe you made a whole streak of consecutive shots in a game, or executed one good idea after another at work.

In his book, The Hot Hand: The Mystery and Science of Streaks, my guest today explores why success sometimes seems to arrive in clusters like this. His name is Ben Cohen and he’s a sports writer for The Wall Street Journal. Ben and I begin our conversation with an explanation of what it means to have a hot hand, and how this phenomenon has often been studied in basketball, but can be seen in a wide range of areas, including the film career of Rob Reiner. We then discuss what may cause winning streaks, whether or not they can be induced, and what Stephen Curry does when he starts feeling hot in a game. We also talk about what the video game NBA Jam can tell us about the psychology of the hot hand. We then dig into what the academic research has found on whether the hot hand truly exists or is really just a cognitive illusion. We end our conversation with what you can start doing today to take advantage of having a hot hand.

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Show Highlights

  • How do researchers define he “hot hand”?
  • What the film career of Rob Reiner can teach us about the hot hand 
  • Why does success sometimes come in clusters?
  • How Steph Curry thinks about hot streaks 
  • NBA Jam and hot streaks
  • Why some scientists don’t believe the hot hand really exists 
  • The human tendency to look for and find patterns
  • What does the hot hand look like in a trade like farming?
  • What is the gambler’s fallacy? 
  • The undergrads who may have proven the veracity of the hot hand
  • What can a person do today to take advantage of the hot hand?

Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast

Connect With Ben

Ben’s website

Ben on Twitter

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Read the Transcript

Coming soon!

The post Podcast #596: The Mystery, Science, and Life-Changing Power of the Hot Hand appeared first on The Art of Manliness.

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