Bidding Internally: The Weight of a Phobia

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Bidding Internally: The Weight of a Phobia

Post  Kevin Chu on Sat Jun 06, 2009 12:12 am

http://travel.yahoo.com/p-interests-28198953;_ylc=X3oDMTFzcGI5Y280BF9TAzI3MTYxNDkEX3MDMjcxOTQ4MQRzZWMDZnAtdG9kYXltb2QEc2xrA3NoYXJrYXR0YWNrLTYtNS0wOQ--

I assume we've all heard this several times, but certain fears are irrational. The fear of flying, for instance, because you're more likely to die in a car crash. This article briefly mentions the fear of sharks, in which you are "more likely to be hit by lightning" than attacked by a shark. This brings up the topic of why our brains decide to be afraid of sharks (if you're not, apply this to some other phobia). Even though the end result (payoff) is the same, death, the probabilities are what's different. In this case Pr[shark attack] < Pr[lightning strike]. This would normally mean that we should be more afraid of thunderstorms instead of the ocean. However, if you took a poll, it may be likely that people are more afraid of swimming in the ocean than walking in a thunderstorm. There's at least somebody, so we'll continue. Instead, I think that these decisions are compromised with an additional probability rate. Therefore, Pr[shark attack] + Extra shark fear probability > Pr[lightning strike] + Extra lightning fear probability, would justify the larger fear of sharks. What this boils down to, when we're deciding games, is that there are more than just calculated probabilities at work, there are inherent and possibly intangible probabilities that add to an expected payoff.

Kevin Chu

Posts : 19
Join date : 2009-04-05

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Bidding Internally: The Weight of a Phobia

Post  Augustus Tsai on Sat Jun 06, 2009 1:06 am

I agree with Kevin's analysis on why people are more fearful of sharks than lightning strike. Its the person's mentality that along with the probability of something happening that makes us to more likely believe in something. For instance, if you are trying to draw an ace of spades from a deck of cards, it is 1/52 chance you will succeed, very low probability. But if you had the mentality that you are so lucky today and that god is on your side, then you might think you have a higher probability that you will draw the ace of spades. Very interesting point that the author and kevin pointed out.

Augustus Tsai

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Join date : 2009-04-03

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