Chapter

The Balance of Probabilities

Philip N. Johnson-Laird

in How We Reason

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780199551330
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191701580 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199551330.003.0015
The Balance of Probabilities

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This chapter provides a discussion on the balance of probabilities. It specifically explores how models underlie deductions about probabilities, and supposes something about the calculus. It brings up the complexity of the inferences until they reach those that are on the outer edges of competence. It then examines why they are so difficult for humans. Some people suffer from existential nausea as soon as they see numbers, and so if you're one such individual, please avoid the gaze. It is stated that the probability of an event can be inferred by representing each of the mutually exclusive possibilities in a separate model. When inductions are made about probabilities, judgments are based on various heuristics, such as the availability of relevant knowledge.

Keywords: probabilities; deductions; inferences; judgments; inductions

Chapter.  5981 words. 

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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