Articles to 2013-10-22

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First the link to this week’s complete list as HTML and as PDF.

Tymula et al. repeat the classic mistake of confronting their subjects with exact, numerically given probabilities. No real-life situation is ever like that, so their results are essentially meaningless. When trying to decide whether I can drive through a deep puddle or am likely to get stuck, the estimate is not numerical. Whenever numerical probabilities do occur in practice, they are quoted by investment salesmen. So mistrusting everything promised on screen and going for the secure option is pure life experience and all they are really testing is, how much people can adapt their whole mindset to a completely artificial situation and for how long they can sustain precision in repeated mental arithmetic. On top of that figure 2c shows that older people are not stuck in their ways but tend to hedge their bets. Interesting perhaps, but nothing like what they claim they’re doing.

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