Document Detail

Perceptions of randomness: why three heads are better than four.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19348550     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
A long tradition of psychological research has lamented the systematic errors and biases in people's perception of the characteristics of sequences generated by a random mechanism such as a coin toss. It is proposed that once the likely nature of people's actual experience of such processes is taken into account, these "errors" and "biases" actually emerge as apt reflections of the probabilistic characteristics of sequences of random events. Specifically, seeming biases reflect the subjective experience of a finite data stream for an agent with a limited short-term memory capacity. Consequently, these biases seem testimony not to the limitations of people's intuitive statistics but rather to the extent to which the human cognitive system is finely attuned to the statistics of the environment.
Ulrike Hahn; Paul A Warren
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Psychological review     Volume:  116     ISSN:  0033-295X     ISO Abbreviation:  Psychol Rev     Publication Date:  2009 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-04-07     Completed Date:  2009-06-10     Revised Date:  2010-05-27    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0376476     Medline TA:  Psychol Rev     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  454-61     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
(c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved
School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Statistics as Topic
Comment In:
Psychol Rev. 2010 Apr;117(2):697-705; discussion 706-11   [PMID:  20438245 ]

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