In our comment on Koehler and Conley’s (2003) findings on the “hot hand” belief, we want to emphasize the different conclusions that can be drawn from their results by applying the concept of ecological rationality. The choice of environmental contexts and structures imposes constraints on possible interpretations of the results obtained. Differentiating between the cognitive and behavioral levels of the phenomenon seems analytically useful, particularly if practical recommendations to professionals are to be made. The implications of Koehler and Conley’s data, new evidence, and the relationship between the perceived streaks of players and their base rates are discussed with the aim of developing empirically founded recommendations to professionals in sports, especially in real game situations.
Bartosz Gula is with the Dept. of Psychology, University of Klagenfurt, Universitätsstr. 65-67, A-9020 Klagenfurt, Austria; Markus Raab is with the Institute for Movement Sciences and Sport, University of Flensburg, Auf dem Campus 1, D-24943 Flensburg, Germany.