Twork: Themanson’s research investigates psychology of baseball

From John Thwork at Illinois Wesleyan University on February 5, 2020:

Why are walks considered good, but singles bad in modern baseball? Illinois Wesleyan University Chair and Professor of Psychology Jason Themanson investigates the psychology of drawing walks versus hitting singles in a recent article “The Psychology of Walks and Singles.”

Themanson’s article, published in The Hardball Times, is one of five national finalists for the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) Analytics Conference Research Awards in the Contemporary Baseball Analysis category. The winner will be determined by online, public voting which ends on Monday, Feb. 10.

“I follow baseball closely and saw more and more people talk about the value of a walk and dismiss or diminish the value of a single –– an actual hit,” Themanson said. “This doesn’t make sense mathematically, so I was curious to try and explain how that mindset may have come about.”

Themanson, who teaches a sports psychology class at Illinois Wesleyan, applied psychological theories and explanations to analyze why players and coaches can talk themselves into believing a walk is more valuable than a single.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: February 5, 2020. Last Updated: February 5, 2020.