Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


41st Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2015

Event Details

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Paper Session #124
Application of Matching Law to Pitch Selection in Professional Baseball
Sunday, May 24, 2015
9:00 AM–9:20 AM
207A (CC)
Keyword(s): Baseball
Chair: David J. Cox (STE Consultants, LLC)
Application of Matching Law to Pitch Selection in Professional Baseball
Domain: Basic Research
DAVID J. COX (University of Florida)
Abstract: The generalized matching law (Baum, 1974, 1979) has consistently done well in quantifying and predicting preference in concurrent schedule research. In addition, the generalized matching law has described well environmental events of social interest. These socially significant topics have included problem behavior (Borrero & Vollmer 2002; Symons et al. 2003; Borrero et al. 2010), educational/academic settings (Martens, Lochner, & Kelly 1992; Mace et al. 1994; Mace et al. 1996), social dynamics (Borrero et al. 2007; McDowell & Caron 2010), sports (Reed, Critchfield, & Martens 2006; Romanowich et al. 2007; Alferink et al. 2009; Stilling & Critchfield 2010), etc. This study sought to extend the generalized matching law to professional baseball. Data on five professional baseball pitchers were taken during the 2014 Major League Baseball season. These data were analyzed to determine whether pitch selection could be accounted for with the generalized matching equation. Seven specific variations in game situations were also analyzed to determine if these variations would manifest as changes in the equation's fitted parameters of bias and sensitivity. Finally, degree of matching and pitcher effectiveness and efficiency were analyzed to determine the extent to which matching may be beneficial for a pitcher. Results and future areas of research are discussed.
Keyword(s): Baseball



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