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Neglect of probability bias

 

Explanations > Theories > Neglect of probability bias

Description | Research | Example | So What? | See also | References 

 

Description

Probability is sometimes a difficult concept to cope with, particularly when you want to make an absolute yes or no decision. As a result some people completely ignore it, assigning either 100% or 0% to the likelihood of future events.

This leads to an easy black-and-white decision-making process, but a likely disappointment when things do not turn out as expected.

Research

Baron, Granato, Spranca, and Teubal asked children what should be done in a scenario about wearing seat belts. They prevaricated between use and not depending on arguments used.

Example

A person managing a software project promises that it will be delivered on a certain date after planning for all tasks but without including any contingency for risks and unexpected issues.

So What?

Using it

Use black and white arguments to test whether people will avoid probability and then (if they do) argue in this way for your case and against alternatives.

Defending

Always know that there is no black and white. Every future event has a probability, which may also change over time with other events.

See also

Risk bias, Hindsight Bias

References

Baron, Granato, Spranca, and Teubal (1993)

 

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