Cognition and Chance: The Psychology of Probabilistic Reasoning


The ability to think probabilistically is important for many reasons. Lack of it makes one prone to a variety of irrational fears and vulnerable to scams designed to exploit probabilistic naivet, precludes intelligent assessment of risks, ensures the operation of several common biases, impairs decision making under uncertainty, facilitates the misinterpretation of statistical information, precludes critical evaluation of likelihood claims, and generally undercuts rational thinking in numerous ways. Cognition and Chance presents an overview of the necessary information needed to make educated assumptions about the statistical or probabilistic characteristics of a situation to better prepare the reader to make intelligent assessments of risk, enhance decision making under uncertainty, facilitate the understanding of statistical information, and critically evaluate the likelihood of claims. For this reason, the book appeals to researchers and students in the areas of probability, statistics, psychology, business, economics, decision theory, and those who evaluate social dilemmas. The only prerequisite is standard high school math. In the book, Dr. Nickerson investigates such questions as how good individuals are at thinking probabilistically and how consistent is their reasoning under uncertainty given the principles of mathematical statistics and probability theory? It reviews the evidence that has been produced in researchers' attempts Contact Susan Barker at (201) 258-2282 for more information to investigate these the similar types of questions. Seven conceptual chapters analyze such things as probability and chance, randomness, coincidences, inverse probability, paradoxes and dilemmas,and statistics. The remaining five chapters focus on individuals' abilities and limitations as probabilistic thinkers by examining such issues as estimation and prediction, perception and covariance, choice under uncertaint

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Mahwah, NJ
Publication year:
  • 2004


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