Author Topic: Volcanoes  (Read 61 times)

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Offline TimG

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Re: Volcanoes
« on: June 05, 2018, 06:44:04 pm »

The clustering illusion is the intuition that random events which occur in clusters are not really random events. The illusion is due to selective thinking based on a counterintuitive but false assumption regarding statistical odds. For example, it strikes most people as unexpected if heads comes up four times in a row during a series of coin flips. However, in a series of 20 flips, there is a 50% chance of getting four heads in a row (Gilovich). It may seem unexpected, but the chances are better than even that a given neighborhood in California will have a statistically significant cluster of cancer cases (Gawande).
Many many media stories depend on inferring 'causal' relationships when none exist.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2018, 06:46:55 pm by TimG »