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joe5 comments on Burdensome Details - Less Wrong

30 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 20 September 2007 11:46PM

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Comment author: joe5 21 September 2007 03:47:40AM 5 points [-]

In some situations, part of the problem may simply be that instead of calculating a joint probability, they are calculating a conditional probability. The effect of mistakenly calculating a conditional probability is that one event may seem highly probable given the other event occurred; I believe this could be a mathematical reason explaining the plausibility effect in some situations.

For example: the probability that USA and USSR suspend diplomatic relations given that Russia invades Poland is probably more likely than the marginal event, USA and USSR suspend diplomatic relations.