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JamesCole comments on Your intuitions are not magic - Less Wrong

65 Post author: Kaj_Sotala 10 June 2010 12:11AM

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Comment author: JamesCole 11 June 2010 07:07:17AM 0 points [-]

Yet our brains assume that we hear about all those disasters [we read about in the newspaper] because we've personally witnessed them, and that the distribution of disasters in the newspapers therefore reflects the distribution of disasters in the real world.

Even if we had personally witnessed them, that wouldn't, in itself, be any reason to assume that they are representative of things in general. The representativeness of any data is always something that can be critically assessed.

Comment author: Kutta 11 June 2010 09:25:53AM *  0 points [-]

For many people, representativeness is the primary governing factor in any data analysis, not just a mere facet of reasoning that should be critically assessed. Also, aside from the mentioned media bias that is indeed relatively easily correctable, there are many subtler instances of biasing via representativess, on the level of cognitive processes.