Browsing All Posts filed under »cognitive bias«

Did Lance Armstrong Cheat, and Does it Matter?: what to make of all this now that he will “no longer address” the issue

August 28, 2012


When Lance Armstrong suddenly pleaded “no contest” last week in the USADA’s proceedings against him, my university’s communications office sent out a time-sensitive request to faculty members who might have some comment. I foolishly glanced at a couple of news reports on my iPad in the meeting I was in, and then tapped out a […]

What we cannot reliably learn from former NFL players about the “bounty” system (or anything else)

March 7, 2012


It goes without saying that most of the chatter on the sports networks comes from the mouths of former players and coaches. There may typically be one journalist or “broadcaster” moderating a discussion, and occasionally there are non-player “experts” about particular subjects internal or external to the sport in question (from folks who analyze the […]

Still wondering about the Wonderlic test

March 26, 2011


I just read another extremely typical, and unhelpful, treatment of the relevance of the Wonderlic test for predicting the prospects of young quarterbacks¬†in the NFL. It comes from’s “Cold Hard Facts,” via the Beacher Report. I raised this issue in the previous post, “Your brain on sports.” Like everything I’ve ever read or heard […]

Your brain on sports

March 24, 2011


Does playing sports make you smarter? Or is it just that smart people play (and excel at) sports? The studies referred to in a New York Times blog post today won’t settle that debate. But they do highlight ways in which the jock’s brain seems to be smarter and faster than the nerd’s. The main […]

The end of the beginning of the 2010 NFL season

October 4, 2010


A well-rounded sport-spectator experience involves following several sports through the course of the year. Different sports showcase different features that make sports spectatorship rewarding: from the mental determination and courage of individual athletes in, say, golf, tennis, or the marathon, struggling to maintain focus in the face of self-doubt, pain, and exhaustion; to the perfectly […]

Should we all root for the Washington Generals?

September 23, 2010


US Supreme Court Justice Samuel A.¬†Alito visited the Law School at my university last week, and worked in a curious sports reference for those interested in reading the tea leaves of his moral psychology. We all want to know how those on the bench decide cases when the law itself is unclear and they have […]

“Why no Gatherer-sports?”

September 4, 2010


There’s an old adage one hears in business schools to describe managers with a limited range of management skills (and presumably limited career prospects): if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. And if the only two tools you have are a hammer and a saw, every problem […]