The term originated in sports, but it has become applied metaphorically in other senses. In financial markets, a head fake refers to a time when the market appears to be moving in one direction, but ends up moving in the opposite direction. For example, the price of a stock may initially move up, and all indications are that it will continue to move up, but shortly afterward, it reverses direction and starts moving down.
In his "Last Lecture" entitled "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" (at Carnegie Mellon on September 18, 2007), Randy Pausch refers extensively to "head fakes." He describes as a "head fake," for example, the phenomenon of parents encouraging their children to play football. Parents tell their children to play sports not because they really want them to become football stars, he says, but to help them develop collaboration and socializing skills. His concluding remarks during the last three or four minutes, present the final head fake of the lecture.
- Wissel, Hal (1994). Steps to Success. ISBN 0-7360-5500-2.
- Fontanills, George A. (2007). Getting Started in Commodities. John Wiley and Sons. p. 202. ISBN 978-0-470-08949-1.
- Randy Pausch (September 18, 2007). "Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" (PDF). Carniage Mellon University. Retrieved April 16, 2016.