Accused of a fallacy? Suspect a fallacy? Ask Dr. Bo and the community!

Quickly register to comment, ask and respond to questions, and get FREE access to our passive online course on cognitive biases!
Register!

one moment please...



Hot Hand Fallacy

(also known as: hot hand phenomenon)

Description: The hot hand fallacy is the irrational belief that if you win or lose several chance games in a row, you are either “hot” or “cold,” respectively, meaning that the streak is likely to continue and has to do with something other than pure probability.  Because we are generally stupid when it comes to realizing this, and pigheaded when it comes to accepting this fact, casinos around the world make a lot of money. This is similar to the gambler's fallacy.

Logical Form:

Person 1 has won a probability game X times in a row.

Therefore, person 1 is "hot" and likely to win again the next game.

Example #1:

Marta: (shooting craps) Let's just cash in now. We did great, but let's quit while we're ahead.

Carlos: Forget it! We are hot! Let's see how long this streak will last!

Explanation: Statistically, Carlos and Marta are more likely to lose the next game since a) their "streak" is probability-based, not talent-based and b) the odds are against them in the game of craps. Carlos is incorrectly viewing the string of wins as a streak that is more likely to continue than not.

Example #2:

There are examples based on events that are not purely probabilistic, such as shooting baskets in the game of basketball. These examples are controversial because although some of the success, some of the time can be attributed to probability alone, there is no question that talent and belief can affect the outcome.

Tip: The belief that you are "on fire" (i.e., performing exceptionally well) can lead to better performance, via the self-fulfilling prophecy. There are times when thinking too critically can negatively affect performance.

References:

The Hot Hand Fallacy: Cognitive Mistakes or Equilibrium Adjustments? Evidence from Baseball. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/faculty-research/working-papers/hot-hand-fallacy-cognitive-mistakes-or-equilibrium-adjustments



Registered User Comments


Become a Logical Fallacy Master. Choose Your Poison.

Logically Fallacious is one of the most comprehensive collections of logical fallacies with all original examples and easy to understand descriptions; perfect for educators, debaters, or anyone who wants to improve his or her reasoning skills.

Get the book, Logically Fallacious by Bo Bennett, PhD by selecting one of the following options:


Not Much of a Reader? No Problem!

Enroll in the Mastering Logical Fallacies Online Course. Over 10 hours of video and interactive learning. Go beyond the book!

Enroll in the Fallacy-A-Day Passive Course. Sit back and learn fallacies the easy way—in just a few minutes per day, via e-mail delivery.

Have a podcast or know someone who does? Putting on a conference? Dr. Bennett is available for interviews and public speaking events. Contact him directly here.


About Archieboy Holdings, LLC. Privacy Policy Other Books Written by Bo
 Copyright 2017, Archieboy Holdings, LLC.