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,

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/18/sunday-review/gamblers-scientists-and-the-mysterious-hot-hand.html

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?

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

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