The game of life:

Ralph Hertwig and Timothy J. Pleskac

in The Probabilistic Mind:

Published in print March 2008 | ISBN: 9780199216093
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191695971 | DOI:
The game of life:

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This chapter highlights the importance of simplicity, but in a different way — it argues that, where people sample statistical information from experience, they tend to rely on surprisingly small samples (e.g. focusing on a few recent events). It presents a formal analysis of possible reasons behind this reliance on small samples. Three key results emerge. First, small samples amplify the difference between the average earnings associated with the payoff distributions, thus rendering choices simpler. Second, people who use a simple choice heuristic or choose in accordance with prospect theory benefit from this amplification effect, whereas Bayesian updates do not. Third, although not providing a strictly veridical portrayal of the world, small samples can give rise to surprisingly competitive choices.

Keywords: simplicity; statistical information; prospect theory; small samples

Chapter.  12818 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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