The Hot Hand


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A feast for anyone interested in the secrets of excellence.’ Andre Agassi, winner of eight grand Slam titles and bestselling author of open for fans of Charles duhig, Malcolm Gladwell and Nate silver, a brilliant and buoyant investigation into the existence (or not) of hot streak. For decades, psychologists and economists have studied the science of streaks to determine whether the ‘hot hand’ exists. Is there such a thing as being in the Zone? Or it simply a case of seeing patterns in randomness? Genius scholars and Nobel Prize winners have dedicated years to answering this Question. A substantial number of the decisions we make each day are rooted in two opposing beliefs: that if something happened before, it will happen again – or if it happened before, it probably won’t happen again. The hot hand is an incredibly entertaining and provocative investigation into the seductive idea that streaks not only exist but can be created. Every day we look for patterns in coincidence, and coincidence in patterns. Is there a hidden logic that defies our basic understanding of probability? If we recognise someone has a hot hand, can we adjust to take advantage? If we mistakenly assume they have the hot hand, what are the costs? What happens when we’re wrong – and what happens when maybe we were right all along? To answer these questions, Ben Cohen embarks on a kaleidoscopic investigation that ranges from the magical night that forever changed nba’s superstar Stephen curry’s life to a billionaire investor who made a fortune betting against streak; the mystery of a missing world War II hero to the authentication of a lost Van Gogh painting; how Shakespeare’s success was abetted by a flea to how Spotify had to make its Shuffle feature less random to feel more random. The hot hand takes us to the jungles of the Amazon, a sugar-beet farm in the Northern United States, and strip mall arcade to show us how recognition of patterns can be both fruitful – and disastrous.

About the Author

Ben Cohen is a sports reporter for The Wall Street Journal. He writes about the NBA, the Olympics and other topics that don’t involve extraordinarily athletic people. He lives in New York with his wife and their cat. The Hot Hand is his first book.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ HarperCollins (13 April 2020)
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0008410453
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-000841045
  • Author : Ben Cohen
  • Binding : Paperback
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Pages : ‎ 352
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 295 g


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