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On illusions in the estimation of probabilities

  • Andrew I. Dale
Part of the Sources in the History of Mathematics and Physical Sciences book series (SOURCES, volume 13)

Abstract

The mind, like the sense of sight, has its illusions [1]; and just as touch corrects those of the latter, so thought and calculation α correct the former. Probability based on daily experience, or exaggerated by fear or hope, affects us more than a larger probability that is only a simple result of calculation. Thus, in return for small gains, we have no fear at all in exposing our lives to risks much less unlikely than the drawing of a quine in the French lottery; and yet one would not choose to get the same benefits, with the certainty of losing one’s life if a quine were to occur [2].

Keywords

Black Ball External Object Human Species White Ball Internal Image 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew I. Dale
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mathematical StatisticsUniversity of NatalDurban, NatalRepublic of South Africa

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