Bayesian Learning

We know that probabilities are hard for us humans to understand and estimate.  Even seasoned professionals are fooled by seemingly easy problems (take, for example, Marylyn vos Savant’s Parade Magazine fiasco with the Monte Hall Puzzle), and sports fans around the world are fooled whenever they subscribe to the notion that their favorite player is “due” or is on a streak.  I hope I didn’t just alienate too many readers.

Anyway, today I learned about research that investigates some of the evolutionary origins of our troubles with probabilities, and seems to indicate that even purely rational thinkers would come to the same conclusions if their world view was similarly shaped (skewed?) as ours.  In other words, human decision making should be viewed as rational within a model-based framework, and that our decision making is not consistent with blank-slate / model-free learning.

Read more of this post