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    Perceptions of randomness: Why three heads are better than four.

    Hahn, Ulrike and Warren, P.A. (2009) Perceptions of randomness: Why three heads are better than four. Psychological Review 116 (2), pp. 454-461. ISSN 0033-295X.

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    Abstract

    [Correction Notice: An erratum for this article was reported in Vol 116(4) of Psychological Review (see record 2009-18254-008). On page 458, right column, second paragraph, the sentence reading “However, Figures 2 and 4 also indicate that the error is an understandable one.” should have read “However, Figures 3 and 4 also indicate that the error is an understandable one.”] A long tradition of psychological research has lamented the systematic errors and biases in people's perception of the characteristics of sequences generated by a random mechanism such as a coin toss. It is proposed that once the likely nature of people's actual experience of such processes is taken into account, these “errors” and “biases” actually emerge as apt reflections of the probabilistic characteristics of sequences of random events. Specifically, seeming biases reflect the subjective experience of a finite data stream for an agent with a limited short-term memory capacity. Consequently, these biases seem testimony not to the limitations of people's intuitive statistics but rather to the extent to which the human cognitive system is finely attuned to the statistics of the environment.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
    Research Centre: Birkbeck Knowledge Lab
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 09 May 2013 10:35
    Last Modified: 02 Dec 2016 13:39
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/6607

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