Many events of concern to intelligence analysts. Prepublication Classification Review Board, Freedom of Information Act Electronic Reading Room, news, press releases, information and more, Employment While it is effective for some problems, this heuristic involves attending to the particular characteristics of the individual, ignoring how common those categories are in the population (called the base rates). This reasoning appears plausible but is incorrect. The problem remains mathematically and structurally the same. Base Rate Fallacy Question • In a city of 1 million inhabitants there are 100 known terrorists and 999,900 non-terrorists – Terrorist base rate = .00001 • The city installs a face recognizing surveillance camera – If one of the known terrorists is seen by the camera, the system has a 99% probability of detecting the terrorist and ringing an alarm bell. The false-consensus effect. c. the anchoring heuristic. We also know the pilot's identifications are correct 80 percent of the time; therefore, there is an 80 percent probability the fighter was Cambodian. Using the "availability" rule, people judge the probability of an event by the ease with which they can imagine relevant instances of similar events or the number of such events that they can easily remember. In recalculating, they take this as a starting point rather than starting over from scratch, but why this should limit the range of subsequent reasoning is not clear. Decision making is the cognitive process that results in the selection of a course of action or belief from several possibilities. Office. Related Psychology Terms BASE-RATE FALLACY 5), and M. Alpert and H. Raiffa, "A Progress Report on The Training of Probability Assessors," Unpublished manuscript, Harvard University, 1968. However, people do not shift far enough away from the anchor to be random; thus, it seems that the anchor contaminates the estimate, even if it is clearly irrelevant. official you have information for CIA. They were given a number of sentences such as: "It is highly unlikely that ...." All the sentences were the same except that the verbal expressions of probability changed. Their answers correlated with the arbitrary number they had been given. Data on "prior probabilities" are commonly ignored unless they illuminate causal relationships. b. Expressions of probability, such as possible and probable, are a common source of ambiguity that make it easier for a reader to interpret a report as consistent with the reader's own preconceptions. US. In judging the probability of alternative outcomes, our senior leaders were strongly influenced by the ready availability of two seemingly comparable scenarios--the failure of appeasement prior to World War II and the successful intervention in Korea. We reply first to messages of greater interest base-rate fallacy When my judgment of whether someone is aggressive is determined by how may relevant instances of aggressive behavior I can recall, I am using ________ to make my judgment. Learn how the CIA is organized into directorates and key offices, responsible for securing our nation. Charles E. Fisk, "The Sino-Soviet Border Dispute: A Comparison of the Conventional and Bayesian Methods for Intelligence Warning", Studies in Intelligence, vol. The The best way to explain base rate neglect, is to start off with a (classical) example. Insufficient adjustment from an anchor is not the only explanation for this effect. She majored in philosophy. Base Rate Fallacy. In other words, consciously avoid any prior judgment as a starting point. to us and to those with more detail. In a study done in 1973, Kahneman and Tversky gave their subjects the following information: Tom W. is of high intelligence, although lacking in true creativity. Linking the prior probability to a cause and effect relationship immediately raises the possibility that the pilot's observation was in error. It does not seem relevant because there is no causal relationship between the background information on the percentages of jet fighters in the area and the pilot's observation.147 The fact that 85 percent of the fighters in the area were Vietnamese and 15 percent Cambodian did not cause the attack to be made by a Cambodian rather than a Vietnamese. Statistical probabilities are based on empirical evidence concerning relative frequencies. Obviously, we agreed that there was a great deal of uncertainty. Sherman Kent, the first director of CIA's Office of National Estimates, was one of the first to recognize problems of communication caused by imprecise statements of uncertainty. Both Cambodian and Vietnamese jets operate in the area. The correct answer is: a. Estimate frequency or probability in terms of how easily we can think of examples. The problem was not a major difference of opinion, but the ambiguity of the term probable. Ignorance of base rates [edit | edit source] Main article: Base rate fallacy. Representativeness involves jumping to an erroneous conclusion that is unlikely to be accurate, on the basis of an initial impression. Third Party: Have someone you trust travel to a less restrictive environment and deliver Putting a numerical qualifier in parentheses after the phrase expressing degree of uncertainty is an appropriate means of avoiding misinterpretation. The base rate fallacy is the tendency for people to ignore relevant statistical information, when estimating how likely an event is to happen. The representativeness heuristic is seen when people use categories—when deciding, for example,whether or not a person is a criminal. Give students a short intelligence report, have them underline all expressions of uncertainty, then have them express their understanding of the report by writing above each expression of uncertainty the numerical probability they believe was intended by the writer of the report. Ask them to start with this number as an estimated answer, then, as they think about the problem, to adjust this number until they get as close as possible to what they believe is the correct answer. If you have information you think might interest CIA due to our foreign intelligence This starting point is then adjusted, based on the results of additional information or analysis. For example, people may judge easily imaginable risks such as terrorist attacks or airplane crashes as more likely than the […] Therefore, we do not know--it is roughly 50-50 whether it was Cambodian or Vietnamese. Heuristics are simple rules of thumb that people often use to form judgments and make decisions; think of them as mental shortcuts. The correct answer is: d. the false-consensus effect. The true figure falls outside the estimated range a much larger percentage of the time.137. So, what’s the base rate of investing in IPOs? We do not routinely respond to questions for which answers are found within this Web site. The representative heuristic was first identified by Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman.. Two examples are commonly used when explaining this heuristic. An individual object or person has a high representativeness for a category if that object or person is very similar to a prototype of that category. Normative Model. “Base rate” is a technical term of describing odds in terms of prior probabilities. The Office of Public Affairs (OPA) is the single point of contact for all inquiries about the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). This makes a total of 71 Vietnamese and 29 Cambodian sightings, of which only 12 of the 29 Cambodian sightings are correct; the other 17 are incorrect sightings of Vietnamese aircraft. They focus on other information that isn't relevant instead. Shortening the time frame for prediction lowers the probability, but may not decrease the need for preventive measures or contingency planning. For example: ... Biases vs Heuristics . The analyst said he meant there was about a 30-percent chance the cease-fire would be broken within a week. Base rate fallacy refers to how the mind tends to focus on information pertaining to a certain case while ignoring how common a characteristic or behavior actually is in the general population. You hear of an airplane crash, then you fear flying. 137Experiments using a 98-percent confidence range found that the true value fell outside the estimated range 40 to 50 percent of the time. They can be innocent errors of thought that lead to poor decisions or can be intended to influence and persuade. Another way to simplify the problem is to base judgment on a rough average of the probabilities of each event. Readers who are unfamiliar with probabilistic reasoning and do not grasp this point should imagine 100 cases in which the pilot has a similar encounter. d. the false-consensus effect. 2 (Spring 1972). To appreciate the different impact made by causally relevant background information, consider this alternative formulation of the same problem. It affects decision making in a number of ways: people decide not to fly on a plane after hearing about a plane crash, but if their doctor says they should change their diet or they’ll be at risk for heart disease, they may think “Well, it probably won’t happen.” Since the former leaps to mind more easily than the latter, people perceive it as more likely. He has a strong drive for competence. Anchoring and adjustment is a heuristic used in situations where people must estimate a number. hostile media phenomenon. These biases are, indeed, difficult to avoid!). d. The anchoring heuristic. At the normative level, the base rate fallacy should be rejected because few tasks map unambiguously into the narrow framework that is held up as the standard of good decision making. Related Psychology Terms BASE-RATE FALLACY Employment: We do not routinely answer questions about employment beyond the information on this Web site, and we do not routinely answer inquiries about the status of job applications. Not so difficult, in part because we still have vivid memories of the old Soviet Union. Base Rate Fallacy. In representative heuristic you're basically using a preexisting mental model to make an assumption. This idea is linked to the Base Rate Fallacy. It involves starting from a readily available number—the “anchor”—and shifting either up or down to reach an answer that seems plausible. But I am seduced by the immediacy and persuasiveness of the case-specific evidence. The difficulty in understanding this arises because untrained intuitive judgment does not incorporate some of the basic statistical principles of probabilistic reasoning. This is called the base-rate fallacy, and it is the cause of many negative stereotypes based on outward appearance. I continue to ignore the non-causal, probabilistic evidence based on many similar projects in the past, and to estimate completion dates that I hardly ever meet. By themselves, these expressions have no clear meaning. Representative heuristic vs base rate fallacy; supper confused. What are the differences b/t base rate fallacy vs representative heuristic? If the Ambassador's preconception is that there is no more than a one-in-a-hundred chance, he may elect to not do very much. Using expected value, subjective utility, the availability heuristic, and the representativeness heuristic are all ways of making risky decisions. In planning a research project, I may estimate being able to complete it in four weeks. underemphasizing important information about base rate. The officers were asked what percentage probability they would attribute to each statement if they read it in an intelligence report. This choice was then presented to participants either with positive framing (how many people would live) or negative framing (how many people would die), as delineated here: Positive framing: “Treatment A will save 200 lives; Treatment B has a 33% chance of saving all 600 people and a 66% chance of saving no one.” Negative framing: “Treatment A will let 400 people die; Treatment B has a 33% chance of no one dying and a 66% chance of everyone dying.” Treatment A was chosen by 72% of participants when it was presented with positive framing, but only by 22% of participants when it was presented with negative framing, despite the fact that it was the same treatment both times. Intelligence analysts sometimes present judgments in the form of a scenario--a series of events leading to an anticipated outcome. During the Vietnam War, a fighter plane made a non-fatal strafing attack on a US aerial reconnaissance mission at twilight. Kahneman and Tversky did a lot of work in this area and their paper “Judgement under Uncdertainty: Heuristic and Biases”  sheds light on this. base rate fallacy. When base rates are not well known but must be inferred or researched, they are even less likely to be used.148, The so-called planning fallacy, to which I personally plead guilty, is an example of a problem in which base rates are not given in numerical terms but must be abstracted from experience. In making rough probability judgments, people commonly depend upon one of several simplified rules of thumb that greatly ease the burden of decision. communication issues, the CIA Recruitment Center does not accept resumes, nor can we return Most people do not have a good intuitive grasp of probabilistic reasoning. An event for which the timing is unpredictable may "at this time" have only a 5-percent probability of occurring during the coming month, but a 60-percent probability if the time frame is extended to one year (5 percent per month for 12 months). Availability Heuristic. Analysts are evaluating all available information, not making quick and easy inferences.
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