Gambler's fallacy that does come true.

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Liluminaïlekataribalaminacai
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Gambler's fallacy that does come true.

Postby Liluminaïlekataribalaminacai » Thu Sep 03, 2009 1:32 am UTC

If you are familiar with the gambler's fallacy: What would you call outcomes that just coïncidentally happen to turn out the way a layman (for lack of being able to think of a better word right now) would expect? I've been calling this the "gambler's truthiness" because I haven't found another term for it. Is there a term for this?

If I need to add more info to explain I can. Thanks.

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Kizyr
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Re: Gambler's fallacy that does come true.

Postby Kizyr » Thu Sep 03, 2009 2:01 am UTC

"Dumb luck" or "Confirmation bias", sometimes both.

You mean to say, for instance, if you flip a coin 10 times and it comes up heads, the gambler's fallacy would imply that on the next flip it'd be more likely to come up tails (i.e., it'll 'balance out'), whereas the reality is that it's still 50-50. And, your term "gambler's truthiness" would come up if the coin actually did turn up tails on the next time as the gambler expects.

Or, am I misunderstanding your question? KF
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Talith
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Re: Gambler's fallacy that does come true.

Postby Talith » Thu Sep 03, 2009 2:07 am UTC

would you consider The Sophmore's Dreams to be an example of what you want?

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Re: Gambler's fallacy that does come true.

Postby achan1058 » Fri Sep 04, 2009 1:17 am UTC

I second dumb luck.

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Re: Gambler's fallacy that does come true.

Postby t0rajir0u » Fri Sep 04, 2009 7:07 am UTC

I second confirmation bias. (Not at the point when the event happens, but at the point when you hear about it.)

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WarDaft
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Re: Gambler's fallacy that does come true.

Postby WarDaft » Fri Sep 04, 2009 8:54 am UTC

It's dumb luck if you experience it, and confirmation bias when someone tells you they experienced it.
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Re: Gambler's fallacy that does come true.

Postby Esquilax » Sat Sep 05, 2009 1:44 am UTC

Another sort of example of this is in the game Warcraft III. The game actually codes certain skills which have a % chance of occurring when you hit something so that the event's probability of occurring increases as you go longer stretches of time without it occurring. E.g. if you have a skill that gives you 15% chance of dealing double damage, and you go 15 hits without having it happen, your actual chance of dealing double damage when you hit next is about 50%. I don't really know what to call this alteration of probabilities; it clearly can't be called dumb luck since in this case it's actually true. "Gambler's truthiness" does sort of have a nice ring to it :P

(I do realize that this isn't quite the situation the OP is talking about, because it isn't coincidental, but it still seemed relevant)
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Re: Gambler's fallacy that does come true.

Postby kernelpanic » Sat Sep 05, 2009 2:13 am UTC

Esquilax wrote:Another sort of example of this is in the game Warcraft III. The game actually codes certain skills which have a % chance of occurring when you hit something so that the event's probability of occurring increases as you go longer stretches of time without it occurring. E.g. if you have a skill that gives you 15% chance of dealing double damage, and you go 15 hits without having it happen, your actual chance of dealing double damage when you hit next is about 50%. I don't really know what to call this alteration of probabilities; it clearly can't be called dumb luck since in this case it's actually true. "Gambler's truthiness" does sort of have a nice ring to it :P

(I do realize that this isn't quite the situation the OP is talking about, because it isn't coincidental, but it still seemed relevant)

Yeah, Pokemon (At least RSE) has that too. If you play in an emulator and use save states so that, let's say..., the paralyzed opponent can't attack, after three or four consecutive turns without attacking it is very difficult for it to be unable to attack.
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Re: Gambler's fallacy that does come true.

Postby dosboot » Mon Sep 14, 2009 3:08 am UTC

"Regression toward the mean" seems like a phenomena that can be misunderstood to produce the layman fallacy. It says, for example, that if you flip a coin 100 times the greater excess between heads and tails you get the greater chance the next 100 flips will be closer to an even 50-50 split.

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Re: Gambler's fallacy that does come true.

Postby phlip » Mon Sep 14, 2009 3:17 am UTC

dosboot wrote:"Regression toward the mean" seems like a phenomena that can be misunderstood to produce the layman fallacy. It says, for example, that if you flip a coin 100 times the greater excess between heads and tails you get the greater chance the next 100 flips will be closer to an even 50-50 split.

No, it doesn't say that at all. If you flip a coin 100 times, and then flip it a second set of 100 times, the result of the first set doesn't affect the probability distributions of the second set in any way, whatsoever.

Regression toward the mean says that it is likely that the number of heads over all 200 flips, as a percentage, will be closer to the expected percentage than the number of heads in just the first set (or just the second set, for that matter). And that probability increases if the first set is far from expected.

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Re: Gambler's fallacy that does come true.

Postby dosboot » Mon Sep 14, 2009 3:53 am UTC

I think if my careful choice of the word 'closer' is properly interpreted then we are both right, and both saying the same thing.

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Re: Gambler's fallacy that does come true.

Postby phlip » Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:56 am UTC

Oh, I think I see what you mean...

I read it as though you were saying something like... if you flip a coin 100 times, you're likely to get 50 heads, plus or minus about 10 (the standard deviation is close to 5). But if your first set has a lot of heads, then your second set is likely to have 50 heads, plus or minus 5, or something. And if the first set is even further from balanced, the second set will likely be even closer.

But you're just saying that if the first set is far from expected, the second set will probably be closer than the first? 'Cause yeah, that's true.

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Re: Gambler's fallacy that does come true.

Postby Pesto » Mon Sep 14, 2009 5:52 am UTC

Liluminaïlekataribalaminacai wrote:If you are familiar with the gambler's fallacy: What would you call outcomes that just coïncidentally happen to turn out the way a layman (for lack of being able to think of a better word right now) would expect? I've been calling this the "gambler's truthiness" because I haven't found another term for it. Is there a term for this?

If I need to add more info to explain I can. Thanks.

I don't know that there's a specific term for it, but I would call it an intuitive concept.

I think the reason there isn't a term for this, is because most of these things turn out to be mundane. Of all the problems that exist, these were likely the first to be solved, so don't really get noticed. Instead things like the Riemann Hypothesis become famous, because they withstand the beatings of hundreds of years worth of inquiry and analysis.

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Re: Gambler's fallacy that does come true.

Postby phlip » Mon Sep 14, 2009 6:25 am UTC

Pesto: I think the OP's referring to things where intuition says it should be likely, but it actually isn't likely... such as the Gambler's Fallacy... but in a specific trial, it happens. Like tossing 5 heads in a row, declaring "right, the next one will almost certainly be tails", and then you toss the coin again and it is, indeed tails (but only by chance).

Whereas it sounds like you're talking about things where intuition says it should be likely, and it actually is.

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