The Art of Manliness

#596: The Mystery, Science, and Life-Changing Power of the Hot Hand

#596: The Mystery, Science, and Life-Changing Power of the Hot Hand

Have you ever had a period in your athletic or professional career where you kind of felt like you were on fire? Maybe you made a whole streak of consecutive shots in a game, or executed one good idea after another at work. In his book, The Hot Hand: The Mystery and Science of Streaks, my guest today explores why success sometimes seems to arrive in clusters like this. His name is Ben Cohen and he's a sports writer for The Wall Street Journal. Ben and I begin our conversation with an explanation of what it means to have a hot hand, and how this phenomenon has often been studied in basketball, but can be seen in a wide range of areas, including the film career of Rob Reiner. We then discuss what may cause winning streaks, whether or not they can be induced, and what Stephen Curry does when he starts feeling hot in a game. We also talk about what the video game NBA Jam can tell us about the psychology of the hot hand. We then dig into what the academic research has found on whether the hot hand truly exists or is really just a cognitive illusion. We end our conversation with what you can start doing today to take advantage of having a hot hand. Get the show notes at aom.is/hothand.

Duration: 36 min

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