Re: [R] re cognizing patterns

From: Michael Kubovy <>
Date: Tue, 12 Feb 2008 10:33:01 -0500


The literature on the topic is extensive. You could start here:


   author = {Burns, Bruce D.},
   title = {Heuristics as beliefs and as behaviors: The adaptiveness of the "hot

   journal = {Cognitive Psychology},
   year = {2004},
   volume = {48},
   pages = {295--331},
   number = {3},
   month = may,
   abstract = {Gigerenzer (2000) and Anderson (1990) analyzed reasoning by asking:

	what are the reasoner's goals? This emphasizes the adaptiveness of
	behavior rather than whether a belief is normative. Belief in the
	"hot hand" in basketball suggests that players experiencing streaks
	should be given more shots, but this has been seen as a fallacy due
	to Gilovich, Vallone, and Tversky (1985) failure to find dependencies
	between players' shots. Based on their findings, I demonstrate by
	Markov modeling and simulation that streaks are valid allocation
	cues for deciding who to give shots to, because this behavior achieves
	the team goal of scoring more. Empirically I show that this adaptive
	heuristic is supported by the fallacious belief in dependency, more
	so as skill level increases. I extend the theoretical analysis to
	identify general conditions under which following streaks should
	be beneficial. Overall, this approach illustrates the advantages
	of analyzing reasoning in terms of adaptiveness.},
   keywords = {Decision making, Streaks, Sequential information, Hot hand, Adaptive

   url = { }

and work your way back and forward.

On Feb 12, 2008, at 9:59 AM, Paul Artes wrote:

> DeaRs,
> i'm looking for some references on a statement as follows:
> "Humans are good at spotting trends and patterns in data, but they
> are also
> good at spotting those patterns where none really exist". This is not
> verbatim but there must be some scholarly work on this. I can't
> remember

> where I came across it - perhaps I dreamed it up? Help, anyone?
> Best wishes
> Paul

Professor Michael Kubovy
University of Virginia
Department of Psychology
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