How is performance under pressure influenced by the history of events that precede it, and how does the pressure outcome influence the series of events that follow? A baseball batting simulation was used with college players to investigate these questions. In Experiment 1, the difficulty of the simulation was first adaptively adjusted to equate performance level. Batters next completed 20 at-bats used to classify them into one of three performance groups (normal, cold streak, or hot streak) followed by a one at-bat pressure condition. Finally, performance was evaluated over a period of 20 postpressure at-bats. In Experiment 2, a series of secondary tasks were added to assess attentional focus. In both experiments, whether batters succeeded or failed under pressure was significantly related to their performance history immediately before the pressure event, with the normal group having the poorest pressure performance. Performance postpressure was significantly related to both the pressure outcome and prepressure performance. These performance effects were related to changes in the batter’s attentional focus as shown by changes in secondary task accuracy.
Rob Gray and Jonathan Allsop
Bartosz Gula and Markus Raab
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.
Julie Doron and Patrick Gaudreau
This study aimed to revisit the complex nature of serial dependency of performance during a match, examining the prospective associations between psychological processes and subsequent performance at the within-person level of analysis, and explore whether psychological processes are associated with the likelihood of winning series of points. A process-oriented sequential approach was used with 16 elite fencers during a simulated competition. Multilevel regression analyses revealed that serial dependency of performance fluctuates within a match. Results of a Bayesian multilevel structural equation model showed that prior performance subsequently influenced psychological processes. Although psychological processes did not predict performance in the subsequent point, successive winnings were associated with higher perceived control and task-oriented coping and lower negative affectivity compared with both losing streaks and nonstreaks. Overall, serial dependencies of performance are nonstationary during a match whereas psychological processes significantly differ in episodes of winning after winning versus losing after losing.
Jonathan J. Koehler and Caryn A. Conley
The “hot hand” describes the belief that the performance of an athlete, typically a basketball player, temporarily improves following a string of successes. Although some earlier research failed to detect a hot hand, these studies are often criticized for using inappropriate settings and measures. The present study was designed with these criticisms in mind. It offers new evidence in a unique setting, the NBA Long Distance Shootout contest, using various measures. Traditional sequential dependency runs analyses, individual level analyses, and an analysis of spontaneous outbursts by contest announcers about players who are “on fire” fail to reveal evidence of a hot hand. We conclude that declarations of hotness in basketball are best viewed as historical commentary rather than as prophecy about future performance.
Jörn Köppen and Markus Raab
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.
who only show up when the team is on a winning streak or when the best opponent comes to town. Rather, most attention should be given to educating and enticing new fans, while “activating the affinity” that casual fans have for the team (p. 49). Chapters 3–6 delve into this idea by also criticizing
Nancy E. Spencer
,” that can be “worn loose or pulled tight, bound by a casual length of string or secured with a mass-produced elastic” (p. 1). Admittedly, I did not grasp the ubiquity of the ponytail until I read a footnote in which Schultz referred to Sherrow’s ( 2006 ) description of Chris Evert’s “sun-streaked, dark
Steve Swanson and Samuel Y. Todd
frustrated because of what appeared to be a lack of effort by some of the players during a recent losing streak. She told Maria, “They just look like they’re feeling sorry for themselves. Maybe we should require them to engage with this homeless initiative so they realize how fortunate they really are.” Deep
Sebastian Altfeld, Paul Schaffran, Jens Kleinert and Michael Kellmann
meet these requirements. For example, if the work situation does not allow coaches to make their own decisions (e.g., no or little influence on buying players, additional tasks) or if coaches perceive situations as uncontrollable (e.g., losing streak), a stress state occurs that might have an
Colin G. Pennington, Matthew D. Curtner-Smith and Stefanie A. Wind
bearded for the MAL and gray streaks were added to his hair and beard. In the MAL, the first author wore apparel more commonly associated with older physical education teachers (i.e., a long-sleeved collared shirt, khaki trousers, and tennis shoes). Figure 1 —Instructor appearance in the YAL (left