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pure-awesome comments on Positive Bias: Look Into the Dark - Less Wrong

45 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 28 August 2007 03:55AM

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Comment author: Ender 22 June 2011 03:06:23AM 2 points [-]

In the situation you described, it would be necessary to test values that did and didn't match the hypothesis, which ends up working an awful lot like adjusting away from an anchor. Is there a way of solving the 2 4 6 problem without coming up with a hypothesis too early?

Comment author: pure-awesome 04 May 2013 11:21:48PM 2 points [-]

The problem is not that they come up with a hypothesis too early, it's that they stop too early without testing examples that are not supposed to work. In most cases people are given as many opportunities to test as they'd like, yet they are confident in their answer after only testing one or two cases (all of which came up positive).

The trick is that you should come up with one or more hypotheses as soon as you can (maybe without announcing them), but test both cases which do and don't confirm it, and be prepared to change your hypothesis if you are proven wrong.

Comment author: AndyC 09 November 2017 10:53:18AM *  0 points [-]

If it requires a round-trip of human speech through a professor (and thus the requisition of the attention of the entire class) then you can hardly say they are given as many opportunities to test as they'd like. A person of functioning social intelligence certainly has no more than 20 such round-trips available consecutively, and less conservatively even 4 might be pushing it for many.

Give them a computer program to interact with and <i>then</i> you can say they have as many opportunities to test as they'd like.