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The Power of Three

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New York Times
Put together by two marketing and behavioral-science professors, Kurt Carlson of Georgetown University and Suzanne Shu of the University of California, Los Angeles, and scheduled to run in the Journal of Marketing, the new study is an offshoot of the researchers’ previous paper concluding that three events going the same way three times in a row cause people to believe they are observing a streak when applied to such incidents as coin tosses, basketball shots and stock index movements (or the deaths of legendary Hollywood actors).
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