It's Much Easier to Predict the Score of the Game After it has Already been Played.

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Saying "I knew that team was going to win all along" after the game had already been played is a prime example of hindsight bias. Hindsight bias is claiming to have known something after the answer has been revealed. It is just one of three biases that can cause misleading conclusions. Another form of bias that causes unrepresentative data is overconfidence.overconfidence.jpg

The image on the left is an example of overconfidence; the man is more confident than he should be in predicting the winning lottery ticket. Lastly, confirmation bias is the likelihood that one will search harder for data that will support their own hypotheses. It is natural for humans to want to be right and therefore they are more likely to provide only the evidence backing their predictions. If you take a few seconds to reflect and think about these three types of biases, I bet that most of you can quickly recall at least one situation where you were guilty of committing one of these acts of bias.

Like biases, heuristics also commonly tend to cause misleading conclusions. Heuristics are how humans simplify and make sense of things. The major problem with heuristics is that they can cause one not to just simplify, but to oversimplify. Representativeness heuristic is the idea of "like goes with like." It is the act of assuming something because of past experiences or similarities. Availability heuristic is when one predicts the likelihood of an event occurring due to what they know off the top of their head. It is based on the idea that the memories that are most accessible in one's mind is effect how judge the probability of something happening. Biases and heuristics can both cause misleading conclusions that we strongly believe to be true.

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This page contains a single entry by brow1883 published on February 12, 2012 9:42 PM.

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