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View Full Version : Momentum is it real or an epiphenomenon



flips333
01-11-2014, 12:36 PM
Got no bites in the Sabremetrics forum so I figured I would try folks here.

So I am a firm believer that momentum or being hot is not a real thing. It is a feeling that one has due to past consequences, certainly but certainly does not make players play better. I have done a few analyses I have done to try and show this in sports other than baseball.

In Basketball a player who hits 6 shots in a row: on the 7th their field goal percentage is not significantly different than their season FG%.

In football controlling for field position, there is no difference in likelihood of points following a kickoff, or a turnover.

If you believe in momentum, what is it and how can it be measured?

Here is a program talking about the 82-83 76ers. And this idea.
http://www.radiolab.org/story/91687-seeking-patterns/

IamKaiserSoze
02-03-2014, 10:46 PM
Is it empirical? I don't know. Maybe it really is a thing...like love...but isn't measurable. I get what you're trying to say. If you flip a coin 9 consecutive times and get heads...the odds of that tenth flip being heads is still 50%.

But there are times in sports when you're just on...or hot. When the game just seems easier. Would that be momentum? Or would that lead to momentum?

Interesting thought.

subroc
02-03-2014, 11:23 PM
It is the explanation of a result, not a predictor of future performance like the next play or quarter or game.

ewing
02-04-2014, 09:48 AM
of course it is real. If Kate Upton came into my office this morning and gave me a BJ in the broom closet i would be a little more confident taking to the ladies this afternoon.

ewing
02-04-2014, 09:53 AM
An epiphenomenon (plural - epiphenomena) is a secondary phenomenon that occurs alongside or in parallel to a primary phenomenon

no offensive Flips, if i don't know what it means most people don't

subroc
02-04-2014, 10:39 AM
of course it is real. If Kate Upton came into my office this morning and gave me a BJ in the broom closet i would be a little more confident taking to the ladies this afternoon.

Well, the confidence swing a Kate Upton BJ would create is clearly measurable based on the pre-Kate Upton BJ standard figures and could be characterized as an epiphenomenon but could it also be classified as a momentum swing?

ewing
02-04-2014, 10:48 AM
Well, the confidence swing a Kate Upton BJ would create is clearly measurable based on the pre-Kate Upton BJ standard figures and could be characterized as an epiphenomenon but could it also be classified as a momentum swing?

are we separating the swell of confidence one gets from recent success from momentum?

subroc
02-04-2014, 11:17 AM
deleted, not needed

flips333
02-04-2014, 11:47 AM
of course it is real. If Kate Upton came into my office this morning and gave me a BJ in the broom closet i would be a little more confident taking to the ladies this afternoon.

But would your chances of succeeding with the ladies increase. For example after you got that BJ would you approach a model gorgeous lady who you normally would have no chance with? This is the basketball argument. When you are hot (By hot I mean hit 5 shots in a row) your likelihood of hitting the 6th does change... but it goes down. Because confidence leads you to take a shot you normally wouldn't.

To your definition I would also add seems to be causing but instead is a bi-product of the primary phenomenon/.

ewing
02-04-2014, 11:58 AM
But would your chances of succeeding with the ladies increase. For example after you got that BJ would you approach a model gorgeous lady who you normally would have no chance with? This is the basketball argument. When you are hot (By hot I mean hit 5 shots in a row) your likelihood of hitting the 6th does change... but it goes down. Because confidence leads you to take a shot you normally wouldn't.

To your definition I would also add seems to be causing but instead is a bi-product of the primary phenomenon/.


Yes, your chances would increase. Even if you tried to bat out of your league your chances of nailing a super model would increase. Bad shot selection does not discount momentum b/c you have a better chance of making that bad shot with momentum.

ManRam
02-04-2014, 03:56 PM
of course it is real. If Kate Upton came into my office this morning and gave me a BJ in the broom closet i would be a little more confident taking to the ladies this afternoon.

I'm not sure that example works too well in the sports world. What is the Kate Upton moment in baseball/football/basketball/hockey? And, if you know what it is, then does it always lead to momentum? I'd like momentum to be a bit more quantifiable and consistent than it is. It's seems like we use it far too conveniently.

Your example is fine with me, but what's the obvious example in sports? Why is a player hitting 7 shots in a row "momentum". Why is that when a team makes a stop, then scores a touchdown, we talk about them gaining "momentum". Did Chris Shelton have a ton of momentum with him early in 2007 (?), or did he just get lucky? Or was it just extremely impressive coincidence?



I think momentum does exist...like when bat hits ball. You know, conservation of momentum. Newton's 2nd law and that junk. Hitting a ball further when it's coming right at you than you would if it's on a tee.

I'm just not sure how you can attribute a guy going on a tear, in any sport, to momentum. Bill Barnwell wrote an excellent piece on the momentum in football. Just Google it (because I'm too last to).

You Kate Upton point makes sense to me, but how do you tie that into sports?

(Feel free to ignore the disjointed rambling you have just read in this post)

ewing
02-04-2014, 04:19 PM
I'm not sure that example works too well in the sports world. What is the Kate Upton moment in baseball/football/basketball/hockey? And, if you know what it is, then does it always lead to momentum? I'd like momentum to be a bit more quantifiable and consistent than it is. It's seems like we use it far too conveniently.

Your example is fine with me, but what's the obvious example in sports? Why is a player hitting 7 shots in a row "momentum". Why is that when a team makes a stop, then scores a touchdown, we talk about them gaining "momentum". Did Chris Shelton have a ton of momentum with him early in 2007 (?), or did he just get lucky? Or was it just extremely impressive coincidence?



I think momentum does exist...like when bat hits ball. You know, conservation of momentum. Newton's 2nd law and that junk. Hitting a ball further when it's coming right at you than you would if it's on a tee.

I'm just not sure how you can attribute a guy going on a tear, in any sport, to momentum. Bill Barnwell wrote an excellent piece on the momentum in football. Just Google it (because I'm too last to).

You Kate Upton point makes sense to me, but how do you tie that into sports?

(Feel free to ignore the disjointed rambling you have just read in this post)

easily. I played basketball. If i went out looking to control the game immediately trying to make plays and be a real impact player early and was cold i would get frustrated. If I then had a lose ball fall into my lap and got a layup and followed that up with a steal and pull up 3, look out. Every time, i hit two shots in two possessions after a couple misses was it a slump buster? No. Is it as quantifiable as you want to be? No. That doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Kate Upton is a good example b/c it is going to a transformative BJ

by the way, i do agree that momentum might be overused but it certainly exists.

ewing
02-04-2014, 04:53 PM
..

ewing
02-05-2014, 04:21 AM
But would your chances of succeeding with the ladies increase. For example after you got that BJ would you approach a model gorgeous lady who you normally would have no chance with? This is the basketball argument. When you are hot (By hot I mean hit 5 shots in a row) your likelihood of hitting the 6th does change... but it goes down. Because confidence leads you to take a shot you normally wouldn't.

To your definition I would also add seems to be causing but instead is a bi-product of the primary phenomenon/.

Confidence might also lead to taking 3 of the other 5 shots when you normally would have just moved the ball and it generally leads you to put yourself in positions of both greater risk and greater reward. Engaging and learning to manage these situations is what makes you better. IMO arguments like this are trying to take emotion out of the game and just I don't think Larry Bird ever hits running left handed bank shots from 18 feet unless he feels himself sometimes.

ewing
02-07-2014, 09:40 AM
http://i.imgur.com/U2wVihn.gif

believe it or not science doesn't have all the answers. maybe one day we will know enough about our brains to figure out exactly how momentum works, right now we don't.

Ezekial
02-07-2014, 11:19 AM
It isn't a measurable force or anything but when players are in a groove, seeing the ball well etc., they play better? Compared to low confidence play.

I guess instead of saying that a team or player who has a lot of momentum can be substituted with playing with confidence.

Ezekial
02-07-2014, 11:20 AM
Annnnnnd that conclusion was reached already.

flips333
02-08-2014, 02:17 PM
Annnnnnd that conclusion was reached already.

But confidence doesn't equal good performance. The data on shooting basketballs shows that. Confidence can lead to a measurablely worse performance

Ezekial
02-08-2014, 02:37 PM
But confidence doesn't equal good performance. The data on shooting basketballs shows that. Confidence can lead to a measurablely worse performance

Over-confidence can lead to bad performance.
I've heard it described as (in baseball) a calming of the nerves as the pitch comes, no thoughts just pure focus. When you get out of your groove or when you are in a funk, its hard to play like that. But when you've been in a groove (or playing with confidence) it's easier to stay in that mindset and see the ball.

My initial post was in a baseball sense, with basketball and baseball I don't think you can compare the mental game between the two.
Baseball is too methodical.

flips333
02-08-2014, 06:35 PM
Over-confidence can lead to bad performance.
I've heard it described as (in baseball) a calming of the nerves as the pitch comes, no thoughts just pure focus. When you get out of your groove or when you are in a funk, its hard to play like that. But when you've been in a groove (or playing with confidence) it's easier to stay in that mindset and see the ball.

My initial post was in a baseball sense, with basketball and baseball I don't think you can compare the mental game between the two.
Baseball is too methodical.
So you don't think a guy who has hit two home runs in a game might go up swinging for the fences in his next AB cause he thinks he's hot?

What exactly is it about confidence that effects visual acuity?

ewing
02-09-2014, 03:38 AM
But confidence doesn't equal good performance. The data on shooting basketballs shows that. Confidence can lead to a measurablely worse performance


The stat you mention said a guy who already hit 6 in a row doesn't shoot better then this normal % on the 7th. Does he normally shoot better then 85% over a 7 shot streak? This guy is already locked in. Why do you think Micheal used to talk so much trash? To him himself locked in. For a lot of players hitting a couple shots helps you get their. Its not just effort and circumstance, otherwise performance would be totally predictable. Sometimes you are capable of more then others. Happiness breads happiness and success breads success. you probably have sites in your favorites that prove this across fields.

flips333
02-09-2014, 10:29 AM
The stat you mention said a guy who already hit 6 in a row doesn't shoot better then this normal % on the 7th. Does he normally shoot better then 85% over a 7 shot streak? This guy is already locked in. Why do you think Micheal used to talk so much trash? To him himself locked in. For a lot of players hitting a couple shots helps you get their. Its not just effort and circumstance, otherwise performance would be totally predictable. Sometimes you are capable of more then others. Happiness breads happiness and success breads success. you probably have sites in your favorites that prove this across fields.

Or it's random variance around a mean. If you flip a coin 100 times you are actually more likely than not to get a streak of at least 5 in a row. It seems freaky when you get 5 or 6 or 7 in a row... but it's actually probable given the frequency of chances. Streaks are statistically probable. Predicting small sample size performance (a game) with means is inherently a faulty concept.

Why did Jordan talk trash... Probably cause it's fun. I'm not denying the feeling of momentum... I deny it's impact on the game.

ewing
02-09-2014, 01:26 PM
Or it's random variance around a mean. If you flip a coin 100 times you are actually more likely than not to get a streak of at least 5 in a row. It seems freaky when you get 5 or 6 or 7 in a row... but it's actually probable given the frequency of chances. Streaks are statistically probable. Predicting small sample size performance (a game) with means is inherently a faulty concept.

Why did Jordan talk trash... Probably cause it's fun. I'm not denying the feeling of momentum... I deny it's impact on the game.

you are comparing us to quarters? A quarters makeup does change based on emotion, endorphins, adrenaline.

ewing
02-09-2014, 02:11 PM
just had my coffee i am sure i will better at doing work now

flips333
02-09-2014, 03:00 PM
you are comparing us to quarters? A quarters makeup does change based on emotion, endorphins, adrenaline.

That is exactly my point. You can get the same effects with quarters.Without emotion, adrenaline and endorphins. For example michael Jordan's career FG% was .4969... or roughly 50-50. Ya know like a quarter.

This is why things like batting average on balls in play in baseball will predict the rise and fall of Batting averages. They show luck... while a player may feel hot, that emotion is a product of luck... luck is not a product of the emotion. You clearly don't buy this. And that's fine, It's a chicken or the egg argument, but in sports if I can't a way to measure it I tend to think it doesn't exist.

ewing
02-09-2014, 04:57 PM
That is exactly my point. You can get the same effects with quarters.Without emotion, adrenaline and endorphins. For example michael Jordan's career FG% was .4969... or roughly 50-50. Ya know like a quarter.

This is why things like batting average on balls in play in baseball will predict the rise and fall of Batting averages. They show luck... while a player may feel hot, that emotion is a product of luck... luck is not a product of the emotion. You clearly don't buy this. And that's fine, It's a chicken or the egg argument, but in sports if I can't a way to measure it I tend to think it doesn't exist.

It just seems that you are willing to account for situationality outside of sports but not within it and of course i disagree :shrug:

flips333
02-09-2014, 05:31 PM
It just seems that you are willing to account for situationality outside of sports but not within it and of course i disagree :shrug:
Situationality... I'm not sure what you mean. Some hitters hit certain pitchers better. Hitters will hit better when the count is 3 and 0 vs 2 and 0. basketball players will hit shots closer to the basket easier than further away from the basket. Some football players play better in different conditions that suit their skills. Those are all situations where we can measure the impact and it's there.

But the concept of momentum I believe is an emotional byproduct of performance, not the other way around. given a large enough sample people's in specific situations reflect overall means. (for example playoffs vs regular season once you account for the slight dip most people take in numbers because of increased competition). What people experience as a hot streak is random variance around their own mean. In measuring the effects of a hot streak, or momentum shift there is just no evidence that it actually impacts the game aside from people saying they feel it does.

ewing
02-09-2014, 09:46 PM
Situationality... I'm not sure what you mean. Some hitters hit certain pitchers better. Hitters will hit better when the count is 3 and 0 vs 2 and 0. basketball players will hit shots closer to the basket easier than further away from the basket. Some football players play better in different conditions that suit their skills. Those are all situations where we can measure the impact and it's there.

But the concept of momentum I believe is an emotional byproduct of performance, not the other way around. given a large enough sample people's in specific situations reflect overall means. (for example playoffs vs regular season once you account for the slight dip most people take in numbers because of increased competition). What people experience as a hot streak is random variance around their own mean. In measuring the effects of a hot streak, or momentum shift there is just no evidence that it actually impacts the game aside from people saying they feel it does.


The individuals situation. Sometimes you are in a better state then others but that evens out over time. If you get a good nights sleep and your girl wakes you up with a BJ just b/c she loves you, you are going be the **** in the lab that day. That fact that you worked you *** off to get PHD and are a smart guy is what is most important and will bring you to where you should be over time but still sometimes you are just better the others

ewing
02-09-2014, 09:47 PM
when you listen to music that you think is the **** do you get better at drumming along?

flips333
02-10-2014, 07:31 AM
when you listen to music that you think is the **** do you get better at drumming along?

Probably because you listen to it more.

ewing
02-10-2014, 07:51 AM
Probably because you listen to it more.


curmudgeon

DenButsu
02-10-2014, 11:50 PM
Nearly all the research that's been done on the hot hand effect has shown that there's no statistical evidence it truly exists. Some pretty thorough studies have been done on it where they would, for example (and I'm just going off memory here so this may be a little bit off) look at all the instances in a season where players hit 3 shots or 4 shots in a row, and then investigated whether it successfully predicted that their subsequent shooting in those games would be better or not. All of the studies I'm aware of (except for one free throw study which produced a statistically significant result but had a miniscule effect size) showed that players who got on hot streaks did no better or worse later in the same games than would be predicted by their season average shooting percentages.

So while a lot of players claim that it's real, the facts just don't bear that out. It's a perceived effect, but one which can't be (or at least hasn't yet been) objectively demonstrated to actually exist.

Really, the only support for the hot hand effect is anecdotal, and can fairly safely be chalked up to confirmation bias (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias) (players remember all the times when the "hot hand" was in play, but forget the times they started off hot then dropped off after that) and a version of the gambler's fallacy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gambler%27s_fallacy) (the mistaken belief that in a series of independent events, prior outcome will predict future outcomes -- that if the roulette ball lands on red six consecutive times, for example, that it *must* be more likely to land on black next time -- when in fact the odds are 50/50 each and every time regardless of what has happened previously).

ewing
02-11-2014, 09:26 AM
Nearly all the research that's been done on the hot hand effect has shown that there's no statistical evidence it truly exists. Some pretty thorough studies have been done on it where they would, for example (and I'm just going off memory here so this may be a little bit off) look at all the instances in a season where players hit 3 shots or 4 shots in a row, and then investigated whether it successfully predicted that their subsequent shooting in those games would be better or not. All of the studies I'm aware of (except for one free throw study which produced a statistically significant result but had a miniscule effect size) showed that players who got on hot streaks did no better or worse later in the same games than would be predicted by their season average shooting percentages.

So while a lot of players claim that it's real, the facts just don't bear that out. It's a perceived effect, but one which can't be (or at least hasn't yet been) objectively demonstrated to actually exist.

Really, the only support for the hot hand effect is anecdotal, and can fairly safely be chalked up to confirmation bias (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias) (players remember all the times when the "hot hand" was in play, but forget the times they started off hot then dropped off after that) and a version of the gambler's fallacy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gambler%27s_fallacy) (the mistaken belief that in a series of independent events, prior outcome will predict future outcomes -- that if the roulette ball lands on red six consecutive times, for example, that it *must* be more likely to land on black next time -- when in fact the odds are 50/50 each and every time regardless of what has happened previously).

This whole thread reminds me of Sheldon learning to swim on the internet.

There a such as adrenaline rush. It gives you more energy during a fight or flight moment. Sometimes a seeing the ball drop through a couple times will get you that rush. We will sustain that over a game? No, but seeing the ball go in will can lead you having one of those spurts where you hit 4 or 5 shots in a short span.

There are also times when you aren't on a rush but are just in a good place and will likely perform better over a day or game (see the morning BJ example)

flips333
02-11-2014, 09:28 AM
Nearly all the research that's been done on the hot hand effect has shown that there's no statistical evidence it truly exists. Some pretty thorough studies have been done on it where they would, for example (and I'm just going off memory here so this may be a little bit off) look at all the instances in a season where players hit 3 shots or 4 shots in a row, and then investigated whether it successfully predicted that their subsequent shooting in those games would be better or not. All of the studies I'm aware of (except for one free throw study which produced a statistically significant result but had a miniscule effect size) showed that players who got on hot streaks did no better or worse later in the same games than would be predicted by their season average shooting percentages.

So while a lot of players claim that it's real, the facts just don't bear that out. It's a perceived effect, but one which can't be (or at least hasn't yet been) objectively demonstrated to actually exist.

Really, the only support for the hot hand effect is anecdotal, and can fairly safely be chalked up to confirmation bias (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias) (players remember all the times when the "hot hand" was in play, but forget the times they started off hot then dropped off after that) and a version of the gambler's fallacy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gambler%27s_fallacy) (the mistaken belief that in a series of independent events, prior outcome will predict future outcomes -- that if the roulette ball lands on red six consecutive times, for example, that it *must* be more likely to land on black next time -- when in fact the odds are 50/50 each and every time regardless of what has happened previously). all that work is in basketball though. How would you test this in baseball?

ewing
02-11-2014, 09:46 AM
all that work is in basketball though. How would you test this in baseball?


i think you have to hook something up to someone's brain while they are playing a sport. We know players go on runs and in all sports. This idea that it doesn't count if you miss a shot when it is over or is silly. Weather that run is a normal variance or the result of something internal should be tested by tracking whats going on internally while someone plays sports.

flips333
02-11-2014, 10:29 AM
i think you have to hook something up to someone's brain while they are playing a sport. We know players go on runs and in all sports. This idea that it doesn't count if you miss a shot when it is over or is silly. Weather that run is a normal variance or the result of something internal should be tested by tracking whats going on internally while someone plays sports.That really shouldn't be necessary... Our ability to make sense of what the brain is doing is real real limited when they are holding still in a scanner doing a simple task... It would have to be done statistically.

DenButsu
02-11-2014, 10:49 AM
all that work is in basketball though. How would you test this in baseball?

The same way. Test whether there is any greater predictive power of a batter who gets, say, 3 consecutive hits (or homeruns) than his season average would already predict.

Of course, this introduces the element of the pitcher, which obviously is not irrelevant. So there would probably need to be controls which adjust for specific batters' %s vs. specific pitchers, and such studies would have more legitimacy for batter-pitcher duos who have faced off against each other for, say, five seasons or more. But it would, at any rate, certainly be possible.

The most important thing to remember here is that the burden of proof is on the claimant.

Those who assert the positive claim: "The "hot hand" phenomenon is real" carry the burden of proof to provide evidence to support that claim. So far, the highest quality studies which have tried to see whether there's any validity to the assertion have indicated that it just isn't borne out in reality.

Which is not to say that it necessarily is *not* real, but only that there's just not enough meat on the bones to accept the claim that it is. The factual data just simply does not support it.

Of course, I have no dog in this hunt. I could give a rat's *** whether it's real or not. So if anyone has some legitimate evidence which is compelling and persuasive enough, I'm more than open to changing my mind on the subject. It's just that thus far, I have yet to see it.

flips333
02-11-2014, 03:11 PM
The same way. Test whether there is any greater predictive power of a batter who gets, say, 3 consecutive hits (or homeruns) than his season average would already predict.

Of course, this introduces the element of the pitcher, which obviously is not irrelevant. So there would probably need to be controls which adjust for specific batters' %s vs. specific pitchers, and such studies would have more legitimacy for batter-pitcher duos who have faced off against each other for, say, five seasons or more. But it would, at any rate, certainly be possible.

The most important thing to remember here is that the burden of proof is on the claimant.

Those who assert the positive claim: "The "hot hand" phenomenon is real" carry the burden of proof to provide evidence to support that claim. So far, the highest quality studies which have tried to see whether there's any validity to the assertion have indicated that it just isn't borne out in reality.

Which is not to say that it necessarily is *not* real, but only that there's just not enough meat on the bones to accept the claim that it is. The factual data just simply does not support it.

Of course, I have no dog in this hunt. I could give a rat's *** whether it's real or not. So if anyone has some legitimate evidence which is compelling and persuasive enough, I'm more than open to changing my mind on the subject. It's just that thus far, I have yet to see it.
No the burden of proof is actually on the side of those who claim something different from what is generally believed. That is always the case with science. The side on the outside looking trying to change what is believed has the burden... That is the reality of the situation... you may think it is otherwise, based on some principal of science... but when one is trying to tell people that what they feel is an illusion of randomness... The burden of proof is on them. In reality, saying you haven't proved it exists doesn't work if the belief is held widely.

DenButsu
02-12-2014, 11:49 AM
No the burden of proof is actually on the side of those who claim something different from what is generally believed. That is always the case with science. The side on the outside looking trying to change what is believed has the burden... That is the reality of the situation... you may think it is otherwise, based on some principal of science... but when one is trying to tell people that what they feel is an illusion of randomness... The burden of proof is on them. In reality, saying you haven't proved it exists doesn't work if the belief is held widely.

No, I'm sorry to put this so bluntly flips, but everything you said in this post is absolutely 100% wrong... and also shows that you really didn't read my post very carefully.

First and foremost, you are confusing and conflating two entirely different things:

1) The consensus of the scientific community
2) Popular belief

You wrote:

"the burden of proof is actually on the side of those who claim something different from what is generally believed. That is always the case with science. The side on the outside looking trying to change what is believed has the burden."

That is completely backwards from the reality of how science works. When it comes to the scientific method, belief has nothing to do with it. Hypotheses are accepted in science as being provisionally acceptable after (and only after):

a) they have been primarily researched under strictly controlled experimental conditions and shown to demonstrate a significant effect;
b) that research has been peer reviewed and deemed acceptable by multiple third party revieweers with expertise in the field;
c) the initial experiment has subsequently been replicated by at least one if not more institutions or laboratories, and that replication has produced identical or very similar results;
d) and the community of experts in that field, mainly via conferences and discussions in the literature, come to an agreement that the hypothesis in question has successfully passed the threshold of passing the muster of the scientific process, and (again, provisionally) is now acceptable as an explanation for the matter in question.

It's a very rigorous, painstaking and - usually - time consuming process. And when it can be said that "the scientific consensus on is that _______", that means something very specifid about the many trials and tribulations that hypothesis has had to go through to reach that level of wide acceptance in the scientific community.

All of which is the complete opposite of what you're saying about the hot hand.

Your argument is entirely predicated on the logical fallacy known as the argument from popularity which, as the name suggests, simply is the assertion that something must be true just because a lot of people believe it to be so.

The hot hand notion is a popular belief. And one thing that, in my opinion, feeds its popularity is its plausibility. As I said above, I'd be absolutely fine with seeing it proven to be valid. Why would I care either way? And given plausible explanations for it such as muscle memory, confidence, focus, etc., it's certainly not an outrageous or outlandish concept. Nearly all of us, pro athletes or not, have felt like we're "in the zone" at times.

But to repeat what I said in an earlier post, the numbers simply don't bear out the existence of a legitimate hot hand effect. No matter how much the players "feel it" at times, the percentages all come out in accordance with their season (or career) shooting percentages, showing no discernible power of hot shooting early in a game to predict continued hot shooting later in that game.

And as I said before (and this is what I was referring to specifically when I said you didn't read my post carefully), [I]this doesn't necessarily mean the hot hand effect isn't real.

And that's the biggest thing I think you're missing. I am not claiming to know with any absolute certainty, or to be able to demonstrate definitively, that the hot hand effect does not exist. I am not making a positive truth claim on the matter. I am simply saying that I have seen insufficient evidence to be convinced that the claim that it does exist is legitimate, and therefore that the most reasonable position I can take is to provisionally reject that claim until and unless compelling enough evidence is presented.

But it is the people who do positively claim (without any evidence beyond the anecdotal) that the hot hand effect does exist who are making a definitive assertion. They are claiming it's real. They are claiming it exists. And that's why they also carry the burden of proof, if they want to convince me or anyone else that their claim is true, the onus is on them to present evidence and demonstrate the validity of their claim.

And "a lot of people believe it" is not adequate evidence. (And as I said before, it's actually just a fallacious argument).

And "I've felt it so I know it's real" is not adequate evidence, either.

If there's a real phenomenon happening regarding the shooting of basketball players, it should show up in the numbers. But so far, despite a fair amount of research, nobody has been able to turn up much of anything significant.

So until someone does, there's no good reason to believe it's a genuine phenomenon. Let me know if you can find any quality research that shows otherwise, and I'll be more than happy to reconsider my position.

flips333
02-12-2014, 12:47 PM
No, I'm sorry to put this so bluntly flips, but everything you said in this post is absolutely 100% wrong... and also shows that you really didn't read my post very carefully.

First and foremost, you are confusing and conflating two entirely different things:

1) The consensus of the scientific community
2) Popular belief

You wrote:

"the burden of proof is actually on the side of those who claim something different from what is generally believed. That is always the case with science. The side on the outside looking trying to change what is believed has the burden."

That is completely backwards from the reality of how science works. When it comes to the scientific method, belief has nothing to do with it. Hypotheses are accepted in science as being provisionally acceptable after (and only after):

a) they have been primarily researched under strictly controlled experimental conditions and shown to demonstrate a significant effect;
b) that research has been peer reviewed and deemed acceptable by multiple third party revieweers with expertise in the field;
c) the initial experiment has subsequently been replicated by at least one if not more institutions or laboratories, and that replication has produced identical or very similar results;
d) and the community of experts in that field, mainly via conferences and discussions in the literature, come to an agreement that the hypothesis in question has successfully passed the threshold of passing the muster of the scientific process, and (again, provisionally) is now acceptable as an explanation for the matter in question.

It's a very rigorous, painstaking and - usually - time consuming process. And when it can be said that "the scientific consensus on is that _______", that means something very specifid about the many trials and tribulations that hypothesis has had to go through to reach that level of wide acceptance in the scientific community.

All of which is the complete opposite of what you're saying about the hot hand.

Your argument is entirely predicated on the logical fallacy known as the argument from popularity which, as the name suggests, simply is the assertion that something must be true just because a lot of people believe it to be so.

The hot hand notion is a popular belief. And one thing that, in my opinion, feeds its popularity is its plausibility. As I said above, I'd be absolutely fine with seeing it proven to be valid. Why would I care either way? And given plausible explanations for it such as muscle memory, confidence, focus, etc., it's certainly not an outrageous or outlandish concept. Nearly all of us, pro athletes or not, have felt like we're "in the zone" at times.

But to repeat what I said in an earlier post, the numbers simply don't bear out the existence of a legitimate hot hand effect. No matter how much the players "feel it" at times, the percentages all come out in accordance with their season (or career) shooting percentages, showing no discernible power of hot shooting early in a game to predict continued hot shooting later in that game.

And as I said before (and this is what I was referring to specifically when I said you didn't read my post carefully), [I]this doesn't necessarily mean the hot hand effect isn't real.

And that's the biggest thing I think you're missing. I am not claiming to know with any absolute certainty, or to be able to demonstrate definitively, that the hot hand effect does not exist. I am not making a positive truth claim on the matter. I am simply saying that I have seen insufficient evidence to be convinced that the claim that it does exist is legitimate, and therefore that the most reasonable position I can take is to provisionally reject that claim until and unless compelling enough evidence is presented.

But it is the people who do positively claim (without any evidence beyond the anecdotal) that the hot hand effect does exist who are making a definitive assertion. They are claiming it's real. They are claiming it exists. And that's why they also carry the burden of proof, if they want to convince me or anyone else that their claim is true, the onus is on them to present evidence and demonstrate the validity of their claim.

And "a lot of people believe it" is not adequate evidence. (And as I said before, it's actually just a fallacious argument).

And "I've felt it so I know it's real" is not adequate evidence, either.

If there's a real phenomenon happening regarding the shooting of basketball players, it should show up in the numbers. But so far, despite a fair amount of research, nobody has been able to turn up much of anything significant.

So until someone does, there's no good reason to believe it's a genuine phenomenon. Let me know if you can find any quality research that shows otherwise, and I'll be more than happy to reconsider my position.

WOW you worked really hard on that. I'm not conflating anything. The realities of publishing in science are a lot different than what you might find in a basic science textbook.

your abcd is very naive.
a) many people do similar studies repeatedly or multiple people do the same studies and only the significant effects get published.
b) I'm OK with ... but remember a.
c) no one replicates research really... and if it doesn't find the same result and is not significant you think it gets published?
d) there are very few topics where consensus is reached.

So that's the reality.

I read your piece fine. Didn't claim you said that the hot hand exists one way or another. (as I started this thread saying it doesn't you know my opinion) I simply argue with your statement about burden of proof.

FYI the bolding like that can make you sound condescending... I understand you are trying to get a point across... but

ewing
02-12-2014, 05:58 PM
judging by full game performances does not make sense b/c players are very rarely on fire for full games. 50 point nights are a rarity. If Shawn Williams drops 15 in the second quarter on 6 for 6 from the field IDT you are disproving momentum or even testing for it when he doesn't shoot 100% in the second half and go for 30 plus.


I have an experiment that i think you could write rules for to test momentum. You get 20 reasonable fit people and make them all shoot 30 free throws in a row. Do they shoot better on 10-20 then 1-10. If they shoot better on shots 10-20 then they did on 1-10 do they also shoot better on shots 20-30 then they did on 1-10. I think the answer will be yes. Does this test make sense? You could also track how often they go streaks.

flips333
02-13-2014, 09:54 AM
judging by full game performances does not make sense b/c players are very rarely on fire for full games. 50 point nights are a rarity. If Shawn Williams drops 15 in the second quarter on 6 for 6 from the field IDT you are disproving momentum or even testing for it when he doesn't shoot 100% in the second half and go for 30 plus.


I have an experiment that i think you could write rules for to test momentum. You get 20 reasonable fit people and make them all shoot 30 free throws in a row. Do they shoot better on 10-20 then 1-10. If they shoot better on shots 10-20 then they did on 1-10 do they also shoot better on shots 20-30 then they did on 1-10. I think the answer will be yes. Does this test make sense? You could also track how often they go streaks.
That would be called a practice effect.

ewing
02-13-2014, 11:05 AM
That would be called a practice effect.

really? the next day, they are not going to be any better b/c they took 30 shots. It eliminates defensive adjustments, fatigue, the fact that you don't get the same looks all the time, etc it also doesn't expect the player to do something other worldly like the experiments mentioned so far have. You expect a guy to hit 3 homeruns in a row or he has not experienced momentum. Maybe he is seeing the ball better now but flew out the other way b/c the pitcher ins't challenging him anymore or maybe he took just as good rip but lined out this time. Same thing with the basketball ones. If i guy hits 6 shot in a row he has to hit a 7th or if he goes 5 of 6 in the first quarter he has to go 21 of 24 for the game. Those are really rare occurrence of course they are more then likely not going to happen

giants73756
02-14-2014, 01:36 PM
It would be simple to prove the hot hand exists if it actually did. You'd be able to show that field goal percentage is significantly higher for players after they make their previous shot. There's a reason why hot-hand believers have never been able to show evidence of its existence.

http://wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot-hand_fallacy

Anybody who believes that crap just doesn't know the first thing about probability.

ewing
02-15-2014, 01:49 PM
It would be simple to prove the hot hand exists if it actually did. You'd be able to show that field goal percentage is significantly higher for players after they make their previous shot. There's a reason why hot-hand believers have never been able to show evidence of its existence.

http://wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot-hand_fallacy

Anybody who believes that crap just doesn't know the first thing about probability.


You are right it is easy to prove. Guys go on streaks. Sometimes a guy that shoots 40% from the field makes six shots in a row. Hot hand.

giants73756
02-15-2014, 08:22 PM
Good job proving my point when I said people who believe in the hot-hand don't know the first thing about probability. By your logic, if I flip a coin and get 6 heads in a row, that proves the hot-hand exists.

Let me ask you a question- If a player who is a 40% shooter takes 200 field goal attempts, what are the odds that anywhere in that stretch he will make 6 shots in a row if each shot has the same probability to go in? Do you have any idea on how to solve that question?

giants73756
02-15-2014, 08:57 PM
If anything, it would make sense for the inverse of the hot-hand hypothesis to exist. If a player makes a shot or 2 in a row, this would make him more confident and lead him to have a sense of overconfidence and result in him taking difficult shots that he would normally not take. I'd expect a player to have a lower field goal percentage after making one.

Similarly, a player who has just missed some shots would pass up semi-difficult attempts that he might normally take. I'd expect a player to have a higher field goal percentage than he normally does after he's missed a couple in a row.

I'll have to look up statistics on this kind of stuff. We should be able to put this ridiculous momentum fallacy to rest if field goal percentages after misses and makes are easily available.

edit: http://www.82games.com/random25.htm

LOL that didn't take too long to find. I'm not surprised to see these numbers agree with me. This article covered the 2005-6 season. In that year, players following at least 1 missed shot were 46.0% on their next attempt. After 3+ misses in a row they shot 46.2%. After a make, they shot 44.9%. After 3+ makes they shot 44.8%.

How do you hot-hand believers explain that one?

Ewing, I'd still like you to answer my question from my previous post. Because frankly, I don't think you have the slightest clue how to solve it.

filihok
02-15-2014, 10:37 PM
Giants is making better points

I'll add that if a 'hot hand' exists it is virtually indistinguishable from random variation.

ewing
02-16-2014, 09:48 AM
Good job proving my point when I said people who believe in the hot-hand don't know the first thing about probability. By your logic, if I flip a coin and get 6 heads in a row, that proves the hot-hand exists.

Let me ask you a question- If a player who is a 40% shooter takes 200 field goal attempts, what are the odds that anywhere in that stretch he will make 6 shots in a row if each shot has the same probability to go in? Do you have any idea on how to solve that question?

the situation you are setting up is pure fiction. Its irrelevant, It cant be solved b/c it will never happen in a basketball game and it thus unprovable. you get different looks, you get defended differently, your shoots come under different circumstances. Even if it was provable its say nothing about what will happen under and completely different set of circumstances like and actual game. I attempted to set up a situation as close I could to this with foul shooting in an empty gym

ewing
02-16-2014, 09:55 AM
If anything, it would make sense for the inverse of the hot-hand hypothesis to exist. If a player makes a shot or 2 in a row, this would make him more confident and lead him to have a sense of overconfidence and result in him taking difficult shots that he would normally not take. I'd expect a player to have a lower field goal percentage after making one.

Similarly, a player who has just missed some shots would pass up semi-difficult attempts that he might normally take. I'd expect a player to have a higher field goal percentage than he normally does after he's missed a couple in a row.

I'll have to look up statistics on this kind of stuff. We should be able to put this ridiculous momentum fallacy to rest if field goal percentages after misses and makes are easily available.

edit: http://www.82games.com/random25.htm

LOL that didn't take too long to find. I'm not surprised to see these numbers agree with me. This article covered the 2005-6 season. In that year, players following at least 1 missed shot were 46.0% on their next attempt. After 3+ misses in a row they shot 46.2%. After a make, they shot 44.9%. After 3+ makes they shot 44.8%.

How do you hot-hand believers explain that one?

Ewing, I'd still like you to answer my question from my previous post. Because frankly, I don't think you have the slightest clue how to solve it.


Your logic is sound but does not discount a random phenomenon,

ewing
02-16-2014, 10:40 AM
Do you guys believe that a lot of guys play harder in big games? I do. I don't think they were slacking during the regular season either. I just think their physiological makeup going into a big game makes them capable if excerting more energy. That is really what this hot hand/momentum thing is asking IMO. Are their situations and triggers that make a player capable of putting out more energy then normal and thus giving them greater potential. My answer is yes. I also don't any of the data presented here discredits that. I think the only piece that even speaks to it is the variance observed in coin flipping which I find to be pretty easily disregarded b/c of the extreme differences in the events being compared.

giants73756
02-16-2014, 01:43 PM
Except if that's even true, it would mean players on both teams would be capable of exerting more focus/energy/whatever. It would pretty much cancel out.

Does Player Performance Increase During the Postseason? - NBA (http://digitalcommons.iwu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1171&context=uer)

Do some players elevate their game in the playoffs? - NHL (http://nhlnumbers.com/2012/10/3/clutch-nhl-playoff-big-game-performers)

And I'd say that the fact that countless articles similar to these two that have predictable data exist certainly does disprove the concept of the hot-hand. I have yet to see one that shows player perform significantly above expectations in more important games.

filihok
02-16-2014, 08:23 PM
Do you guys believe that a lot of guys play harder in big games? I do. I don't think they were slacking during the regular season either. I just think their physiological makeup going into a big game makes them capable if excerting more energy. That is really what this hot hand/momentum thing is asking IMO.
I don't think that's at all what Flips was referring to in the OP.

And it doesn't seem to be what you were talking about here

You are right it is easy to prove. Guys go on streaks. Sometimes a guy that shoots 40% from the field makes six shots in a row. Hot hand.

ewing
02-17-2014, 12:12 AM
]Except if that's even true, it would mean players on both teams would be capable of exerting more focus/energy/whatever[/B]. It would pretty much cancel out.

Does Player Performance Increase During the Postseason? - NBA (http://digitalcommons.iwu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1171&context=uer)

Do some players elevate their game in the playoffs? - NHL (http://nhlnumbers.com/2012/10/3/clutch-nhl-playoff-big-game-performers)

And I'd say that the fact that countless articles similar to these two that have predictable data exist certainly does disprove the concept of the hot-hand. I have yet to see one that shows player perform significantly above expectations in more important games.

It would but it also accounts for guys having a little more to give sometimes then others. Some times even without a playoff build up guys just have a little more running through them. It might be a variance that can be normalized but it is connected to psychology/adrenal sometimes. I don't think that momentum decides games often. The best team wins. However, sometimes a player has a little more to give and it can make a differerce

ewing
02-17-2014, 12:19 AM
I don't think that's at all what Flips was referring to in the OP.

And it doesn't seem to be what you were talking about here


I am just saying sometimes you have a little more to give then others and that is not a normal variance in the same way that flipping a coin is.

filihok
02-17-2014, 01:08 AM
I am just saying sometimes you have a little more to give then others and that is not a normal variance in the same way that flipping a coin is.
.

if a 'hot hand' exists it is virtually indistinguishable from random variation.

ewing
02-19-2014, 01:17 AM
.


but comparing shooting in a 5 on 5 basketball game to one dude flipping one coin over and over is less convincing then the realization that feeling good makes you happier, healthier, and more productive. Finding numbers that fit your agenda isn't impressive

giants73756
02-19-2014, 09:39 AM
lol what's my agenda? Why would I care either way whether momentum actually affects games or not? You don't like that all data goes against what you believe so you pretend the other people have an agenda. :laugh2:

You know what's impressive? Still believing in the hot hand when no numbers support it. Only that it makes sense to you for some reason but you can't explain why.

ewing
02-19-2014, 09:57 AM
lol what's my agenda? Why would I care either way whether momentum actually affects games or not? You don't like that all data goes against what you believe so you pretend the other people have an agenda. :laugh2:

You know what's impressive? Still believing in the hot hand when no numbers support it. Only that it makes sense to you for some reason but you can't explain why.

i believe thinking you can garner info about shooting %s in a 5 on 5 basketball game based on coin flipping is indicative of a bias. Anyway, thanks for your appreciation

giants73756
02-19-2014, 10:09 AM
Never did I say they were equal or that flipping coins can perfectly explain what happens during a game. It does help, though. I only brought it up after you stated the hot hand exists because players can make 6 field goals in a row. The hot hand doesn't exist for coin flpping, so would you say you can't flip heads or tails 6 times in a row?

If you want to prove the hot hand exists, go find out how often players make 6 in a row and compare it to how often you'd expect to see them make 6 in a row if every shot had the same chance to go in.

Arguing for the side that makes the most sense is not indicative of a bias. If there was ANY data that supported the hot hand, I'd consider changing my stance. You're the one who won't change beliefs despite every study on the matter disagreeing with you. Now that's bias.

filihok
02-20-2014, 01:31 AM
but comparing shooting in a 5 on 5 basketball game to one dude flipping one coin over and over is less convincing then the realization that feeling good makes you happier, healthier, and more productive. Finding numbers that fit your agenda isn't impressive
.

I'll add that if a 'hot hand' exists it is virtually indistinguishable from random variation.