He’s Really Hot Now!

Do you every watch a basketball game and think that a player has a “hot hand,” by making a lot of baskets consecutively?  Do you ever play on slot machines and think that you are having a “streak” of good, or bad, luck?  People often tend to see patterns in random events that are not really there.

But there’s a bit more to it than that.  Are the odds of heads after flipping a coin always 50/50?  Sure.  That’s the basis for knowing that random assignment leads to equal probabilities of selection for each condition in an experiment.  But what is the answer to the question: What are the odds of heads after flipping a coin when you have just obtained a head on the prior toss?

Read more about randomness at,


Does the logic of sampling on the basis of chance make sense to you as a way to achieve a representative sample?

Is it possible to do “better than chance” when choosing individuals in order to create two or more equivalent groups in an experiment?

This entry was posted in Chapter 12, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 9 and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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