Probability

Download Cognition and Chance: The Psychology of Probabilistic by Raymond S. Nickerson PDF

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By Raymond S. Nickerson

Inability to imagine probabilistically makes one liable to various irrational fears and susceptible to scams designed to take advantage of probabilistic naiveté, impairs determination making less than uncertainty, allows the misinterpretation of statistical info, and precludes serious evaluate of probability claims. Cognition and probability provides an outline of the knowledge had to keep away from such pitfalls and to evaluate and reply to probabilistic events in a rational approach. Dr. Nickerson investigates such questions as how stable people are at pondering probabilistically and the way constant their reasoning less than uncertainty is with rules of mathematical data and likelihood idea. He experiences proof that has been produced in researchers' makes an attempt to enquire those and related forms of questions. Seven conceptual chapters tackle such issues as chance, likelihood, randomness, coincidences, inverse chance, paradoxes, dilemmas, and data. the remainder 5 chapters concentrate on empirical reviews of individuals' skills and barriers as probabilistic thinkers. subject matters contain estimation and prediction, belief of covariation, selection below uncertainty, and folks as intuitive probabilists.

Cognition and probability is meant to attract researchers and scholars within the parts of chance, records, psychology, enterprise, economics, determination thought, and social dilemmas.

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Extra info for Cognition and Chance: The Psychology of Probabilistic Reasoning

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Because any sequence can be represented in binary form, the compressibility criterion is sometimes expressed in terms of the length of a computer program, represented in binary form, that would generate the sequence of interest relative to the length of the sequence itself, also expressed in binary form. The sequence is said to be compressible if the program is shorther than it. Any relatively short binary number is likely to be shorter than a program that would be able to generate it, but if the number is very long and has Randomness 26 enough structure to permit it to be produced by a simple rule, the program could be shorter than the number itself.

Anyone who saw a sequence produced by these processes would be hard-pressed to find a way to compress them if he or she did not know the formula that produced them. If one can find a way to compress a sequence, one can say with certainty that, by the criterion of compressibility, the sequence is not random. Inability to find a way to compress a sequence, however, does not guarantee that none exists, so the most one can say in this case is that the sequence has not been shown to be nonrandom. Random to Whom?

Nature abhors a vacuum, human nature abhors chaos. Show us randomness and we will find order, pattern, clusters, and streaks. (Myers, 2002, p. 134) In view of the difficulty that statisticians have had in agreeing on the nature of randomness, we should not be surprised if lay people often have an imperfect understanding of the concept. Many experiments have been done to determine how good people are at producing or identifying random sequences or sets (Nickerson, 2002). The general conclusion that the results of these experiments in the aggregate seem to support Cognition and chance 39 is that people are not very good at these tasks—that they find it hard to generate random sets on request and to distinguish between those that have been produced by random processes and those that have not.

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