The Surprisingly Predictable Patterns of Random Choice

23:02 minutes

Think Rock, Paper, Scissors is a simple game of chance? What about basketball “hot streaks”? William Poundstone, author of Rock Breaks Scissors, says that human choices and behaviors are surprisingly predictable if you understand the psychology and patterns behind them. Poundstone decodes the patterns in big data, Oscar pools, and the “hot hand” in basketball, and offers strategies on how to outguess your competition. (Read an excerpt from Rock Breaks Scissors here.)

Speaking of, how about a round of Rock, Paper, Scissors?


Segment Guests

William Poundstone

William Poundstone is a journalist and author of Rock Breaks Scissors: A Practical Guide to Outguessing and Outwitting Almost Everybody (Little, Brown, 2014) in Los Angeles, California.

Meet the Producer

About Alexa Lim

Alexa Lim was a senior producer for Science Friday. Her favorite stories involve space, sound, and strange animal discoveries.

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You Don’t Need ESP to Predict Behavior

An excerpt from "Rock Breaks Scissors."

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