The elusive reality of efficacy-performance cycles in basketball shooting: An analysis of players' performance under invariant conditions

Simcha Avugos*, Michael Bar-Eli, Ilana Ritov, Eran Sher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

The current work questions the putative tendency for success to be self-promoting in a non-competitive practice setting. Gilovich, Vallone, and Tversky's [(1985). The hot hand in basketball: On the misperception of random sequences. Cognitive Psychology, 17, 295-314. doi:10.1016/0010-0285(85)90010-6] classic controlled shooting experiment in basketball is replicated and extended to include players' efficacy judgments before taking the shots, according to the conditions outlined by Bandura [(1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York, NY: Freeman]. Fifty-eight basketball players participated in three experimental sessions. The results show that players' competency expectations reflected a consistent belief in the existence of past performance-performance cycles. However, even when asked directly about their subjective perceptions of success, the players' sense of efficacy did not predict hits or misses. It was also demonstrated that even under invariant conditions, where such correlations should be even higher according to Bandura's line of reasoning, the outcomes of successive shots were statistically independent, for both expert players and for novices. These findings provide additional support for Gilovich et al.'s seminal results and are rather challenging to Bandura's theory of self-efficacy.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)184-202
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2013

Keywords

  • decision-making
  • hot hand
  • self-efficacy
  • sequential dependence
  • sport

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