Does Framing the Hot Hand Belief Change Decision-Making Behavior in Volleyball? Academic Article uri icon


  • Previous discussions of the hot hand belief, wherein athletes believe that they have a greater chance of scoring after 2 or 3 hits (successes) compared with 2 or 3 misses, have focused on whether this is the case within game statistics. Researchers have argued that the perception of the hot hand in random sequences is a bias of the cognitive system. Yet most have failed to explore the impact of framing on the stability of the belief and the behavior based on it.The authors conducted 2 studies that manipulated the frame of a judgment task. In Study 1, framing was manipulated via instructions in a playmaker allocation paradigm in volleyball. In Study 2, the frame was manipulated by presenting videos for allocation decisions from either the actor or observer perspective.Both manipulations changed the hot hand belief and sequential choices. We found in both studies that the belief in continuation of positive or negative streaks is nonlinear and allocations to the same player after 3 successive hits are reduced.The authors argue that neither the hot hand belief nor hot hand behavior is stable, but rather, both are sensitive to decision frames. The results can inform coaches on the importance of how to provide information to athletes.

publication date

  • 2015