Does Momentum Exist in Competitive Volleyball?

Since T. Gilovich, R. Vallone, and A. Tversky published their seminal 1985 paper, “The Hot Hand in Basketball: On the Misrepresentation of Random Sequences,” there has been considerable study of the question of momentum in sports. The term “momentum” here refers to a condition in which psychological factors cause a player or team to achieve a higher (or lower) than normal performance over a period of time due to a positive correlation between successive outcomes. Put more plainly, sports momentum—if and when it exists—can be summarized as “success breeds success” (or, perhaps, “failure breeds failure”). Gilovich and colleagues referred to it as the “hot hand.”

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