Friday, December 6, 2013

Thinking Fast and Slow, A Catalog of Fallacies: Part 2

Okay, now on to the fallacies.  In part two of the book, Kahneman goes over what he calls "Heuristics and Biases."  Here's the list.

The Law of Small Numbers
People often generalize from too small a sample size.  What happens is that System 1 looks for some sort of causal explanation to some phenomenon when there really is no causal explanation.

Anchoring Effect
When trying to provide some sort of numerical estimation, individuals can be primed by suggestive numbers.  For instance, when asked how much someone would contribute to a charity, a suggested donation influenced their answers upwards or downwards depending on the amount suggested.

Availability Heuristic
Our beliefs about the size of a particular group or the frequency of a particular occurrence is affected by how many examples we can bring to mind of the group or appearance.

Affect Heuristic
This occurs when System 1 substitutes a question regarding fact and probability with a related question about how an individual feels emotionally about a particular claim.

Individuals will often use stereotypes to determine whether someone or something is a member of a particular group.  They often do this while at the same time ignoring base rate probability.

Conjunction Fallacy
This occurs when someone judges that the conjunction of two events is more probably than any one of those events.

Regression to the Mean
Exceptionally good or bad performances will likely be followed by either poorer or better performances respectively.  This is simply due to statistics, but people often misattribute this pattern to talent or lack thereof.

I'll cover part 3 in a later post.

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