Navigation Links
Heads up Kobe Bryant! Research shows that trying for another 3-pointer is a mistake

Basketball fans everywhere recognize the following scenario: Their favorite player scores a three-point shot. A short time later he regains control of the ball. But does the fact that he scored the last time make him more likely to try another three-pointer? Does it change the probability that he will score again?

New research by Dr. Yonatan Loewenstein and graduate student Tal Neiman at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem shatters the myth that a player who scores one or more three-pointers improves his odds of scoring another. Dr. Loewenstein is at the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences and the Department of Neurobiology at the Hebrew University.

Appearing in the latest issue of the journal Nature Communications, the report raises doubts about the ability of athletes in particular, and people in general, to predict future success based on past performance.

Loewenstein and Neiman examined more than 200,000 attempted shots from 291 leading players in the National Basketball Association (NBA) in the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 regular seasons, and more than 15,000 attempted shots by 41 leading players in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) during the 2008 and 2009 regular seasons.

The researchers studied how scores or misses affected a player's behavior later in the game, and found that after a successful three-pointer, players were significantly more likely to attempt another three-pointer. In other words, a successful three point shot provided players with positive reinforcement to attempt additional three point shots later in the game.

Surprisingly, the researchers discovered the exact opposite of what players and fans tend to believe: players who scored a three-pointer and then attempted another three-pointer were more likely to miss the follow-up shot. On the other hand, players who missed a previous three-pointer were more likely to score with their next attempt.

According to Dr. Loewenstein, "The study shows that despite many years of intense training, even the best basketball players over-generalize from their most recent actions and their outcomes. They assume that even one shot is indicative of future performance, while not taking into account that the situation in which they previously scored is likely to be different than the current one." The behavior of basketball players shows the limitations of learning from reinforcement, especially in a complex environment such as a basketball game.

"Learning from reinforcement may not improve performance, and may even damage it, if it is not based on an accurate model of the world," explains Dr. Loewenstein. "This affects everyone's behavior: brokers make investments according to past market performance and commanders make military moves based on the results of past battles. Awareness of the limitations of this kind of learning can help them improve their decision-making processes as well as those of basketball players."

Contact: Dov Smith
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Related medicine news :

1. Digital Policy Council Urges Heads of State to Lead and Follow -- with Good Governance on the Net
2. Miami Businessman Heads to Haiti to Deliver ShelterBoxes
3. NJIT professor heads panel studying sudden car acceleration
4. AIUM spearheads collaboration to develop guidelines for point-of-care ultrasound applications
5. Hot Days Turn Pitchers Into Hot Heads
6. Leopoldina makes recommendations to the G8 heads of state and government
7. Athletes winning streaks may not be all in our -- or their -- heads
8. Embedded Mobile & M2M Device revenues to Rise to Almost $19 Billion Globally by 2014, Says Juniper Research
9. 2010 HSR Impact Award recognizes surgical safety research
10. MSU launches first anti-counterfeiting research program
11. Researchers map all the fragile sites of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiaes genome
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/24/2015)... City, UT (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... Forbes Magazine. For a business, it is critical that the first impression be positive ... business, they are not likely to buy anything or want to return. They will ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 2015 , ... In response to recent news highlighting Oxycodone fraud, Novus Medical ... the United States grew 400 percent between 1999 and 2010, far more than the ... percent of all fatal drug overdoses. (1) , While oxycodone and the extended release ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... The American Association ... their local poison centers through donations on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015. Since 2012, ... day that inspires people to collaborate in improving their local communities and help ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 24, 2015 , ... With Thanksgiving right around the corner, holiday travel season ... protect your family and vehicle. , According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, ... is sharing the following safety tips from the NHTSA: , ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Abington Hospital ... Aetna Institute of Quality® Bariatric Surgery Facility for treating individuals living with morbid ... health care services available to its members to help them make informed decisions ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... DUBLIN , Nov. 25, 2015 ... global pharmaceutical company, and Rugen Therapeutics, a start-up ... treatments for unmet CNS disorders and funded by ... that they have entered into an exclusive collaboration ... therapies for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Obsessive ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Nov. 25, 2015  Mindray Medical ... MR ), a leading developer, ... worldwide, today announced that it will ... of shareholders at the Company,s Hong Kong office ... Prince Edward West Road, Mongkok KL, Hong ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... November 25, 2015 ... addition of the  "Global Drug Device ... to their offering.  --> ... of the  "Global Drug Device Combination ... their offering.  --> Research ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: