Belief in streaks—known as a hot (or cold) hand in sports—is a common element in human decision making. In three video-based experiments, we investigated the belief–behavior relationship and how allocation decisions in volleyball are affected by the expertise of participants measured in years of experience. The participants watched video sequences of two volleyball players in which the base rates of these players were kept constant. In addition, one player showed a hot hand (or cold hand), which was manipulated by length and perfection. Results showed that participants of different expertise levels were sensitive to all kinds of streaks, allocated more/less balls to the hot/cold player and reported strong beliefs in the hot or the cold hand. Developing tactics can benefit from this line of research.
Köppen and Raab are with the Institute of Psychology, German Sport University, Cologne, Germany.