This week’s best title in an academic journal

In a mailing from the Association for Psychological Science, an abstract for this fascinating-sounding article (by Yigal Attali) in Psychological Science (April 29, 2013):

Perceived Hotness Affects Behavior of Basketball Players and Coaches

Ah, you ask, whose perceived hotness? And perceived by whom? Many people think that basketball players are hot hot hot, and I assume the players know this, so it might well affect their behavior.

Oh, not that kind of hot. [Emily Litella mode] Never mind.

Turns out hotness here refers to “having hot hands”, not to sexual attractiveness. The abstract:

Does belief in “hot hands” — the belief that one is more likely to make another basket after a successful shot — affect how basketball players play their game? The author analyzed shot data from the NBA 2010-2011 season and found that players were more likely to take a shot after a previous basket than they were after a miss, but that the second shot was from farther away and was generally less successful. These findings provide evidence that “hot hand” beliefs do affect basketball players’ behavior.

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