Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Ecological RationalityIntelligence in the World$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Peter M. Todd and Gerd Gigerenzer

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780195315448

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195315448.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 27 June 2019

Why Rare Things Are Precious

Why Rare Things Are Precious

How Rarity Benefits Inference

Chapter:
12 Why Rare Things Are Precious
Source:
Ecological Rationality
Author(s):

Craig R. M. McKenzie

Valerie M. Chase

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195315448.003.0089

This chapter reviews evidence showing that people are remarkably sensitive to the rarity of events when making inferences about them. Indeed, people are so attuned to event rarity that their implicit assumptions about rarity guide their thinking even in laboratory tasks where experimenters have implicitly assumed that rarity would not matter. Lack of awareness of this problem has led many experimenters to misinterpret people’s adaptive responses as irrational. Indeed, focusing on data that are rare leads people to behave in a qualitatively Bayesian manner. These points are illustrated using tasks that involve assessing the covariation between variables, evaluating hypotheses after passively receiving data, and actively searching for data to test hypotheses. Participants’ sensitivity to, and assumptions about, rarity have important implications for understanding lay inference.

Keywords:   rarity, inference, Bayesian reasoning, hypothesis testing, covariation assessment, information search, rationality

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .