Illogical gut feelings

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ella mental
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Illogical gut feelings

Postby ella mental » Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:49 am UTC

Inspired by the 1000 times cartoon, and people who think 1000 million looks like a bigger number than a billion.

Mine is that I always think a series of sure things is a better bet than one big gamble. Given the choice between betting on 50 consecutive 99% chances or 1 50% chance, I'd be convinced the first would be a better system. And then I go lose on the 43rd try or something, and a bit of my brain goes "We lost a one in a hundred? That was just pure bad luck. That'll never happen again, have another go." It's a good thing I don't live near any bookies or I don't think I'd have any savings anymore.

Anyone else got any?

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Re: Illogical gut feelings

Postby SlyReaper » Tue Mar 24, 2009 11:58 am UTC

Actually your gut feeling in your example is correct. You have about a 60% chance of winning all 50 99% bets, whereas you obviously only have a 50% chance of winning 1 50% bet.
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Re: Illogical gut feelings

Postby Zohar » Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:11 pm UTC

Yes, you'd have to bet at least 69 times on a 99% chance to have a greater chance winning one 50% bet and not all of those 99% bets.
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Re: Illogical gut feelings

Postby Chad.Boudreau » Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:29 pm UTC

Clearly he was just giving us an example of an illogical gut feeling =)

I don't know about this one. Gut feelings are one of the reasons we are better than computers. Our brains take in a huge amount of information, and sometimes the brains output can only be perceived as a feeling. While sometimes we are wrong, I think of this as an evolutionary process.

There are two caves which appear identical. In one, our ancestor will be eaten by a saber tooth tiger. In the other, our ancestor will sit down to enjoy a nice meal he just caught. The potential ancestor who could not intuit that information he was not consciously aware of meant he was about to be eaten is not our ancestor. He was food.

We've been bred for intuition, thanks to those tigers. Let's have a "thank the saber-tooth" day!

Anyways, since we've been bred to intuit, to feel information, can we really call that process illogical?

EDIT: this still doesn't explain fervently religious people...
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Re: Illogical gut feelings

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Mar 24, 2009 3:19 pm UTC

Yeah, as much as people would like to think of the mind as a completely blank slate, the brain is as shaped by evolutionary processes as the rest of us. So we evolved to think about the world in ways that are most likely to confer a reproductive advantage. (This is the same reason people are good at seeing patterns even when they aren't there: generally, whenever something *might* be a dangerous animal, or a prey animal for that matter, it's to a person's advantage to act as though it really is.)

We have some "gut feelings" (and some conscious thoughts) that directly contradict each other. For example, people are generally as uncomfortable with infinite past time as they are with a "beginning of time", when they really think about it. The fact that we know time must be one or the other doesn't change this discomfort.
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Re: Illogical gut feelings

Postby krazykate » Tue Mar 24, 2009 3:35 pm UTC

My illogical gut feeling is that I've always had to work with the prejudice against southern accents. When someone has a southern accent they automatically sound unintelligent.

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Re: Illogical gut feelings

Postby SlyReaper » Tue Mar 24, 2009 3:39 pm UTC

krazykate wrote:My illogical gut feeling is that I've always had to work with the prejudice against southern accents. When someone has a southern accent they automatically sound unintelligent.

It works the other way around in the UK. :P
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Re: Illogical gut feelings

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Mar 24, 2009 3:52 pm UTC

Y'all reckon that if this here investment portfolio were to increase with an average rate of 2.5% annually fer the next ten years, we could then use that investment fer a bigger still?
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Re: Illogical gut feelings

Postby Rakysh » Tue Mar 24, 2009 5:05 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:
krazykate wrote:My illogical gut feeling is that I've always had to work with the prejudice against southern accents. When someone has a southern accent they automatically sound unintelligent.

It works the other way around in the UK. :P


Aw no he didn't.

People from Edinburgh sound way cleverer than, say, people from the west country. I'll give you the scouse and brummy accents, but Northumberlanders sound fairly clever, don't they?

*Shakes fist at the southerner*

(I'm from Wolverhampton originally, but I've now got a BBC accent)

My gut feelings are generally poor, especially during exams.

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Re: Illogical gut feelings

Postby Brooklynxman » Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:01 pm UTC

When numbers interact in complex ways, unless you are a mathematician or accountant or something and are used to it, your gut will normally view that in most simple ways the number can interact, one way is better, and it will tell you so.

Well, its not really your gut so much as your subconscious.

On exams, gut feelings are only good if it doesnt involve math. If it involves math, gut feeling is very bad.
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Re: Illogical gut feelings

Postby Plasma Man » Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:58 pm UTC

I have two possible routes home that are near-identical in distance and time to travel, yet sometimes I get a gut feeling to go one particular way. As it makes no difference to me, I usually indulge it. I also use gut feeling when picking lottery numbers on the basis that it's as good a system as any (i.e. I still lose).
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Re: Illogical gut feelings

Postby wst » Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:25 pm UTC

When shooting, I sometimes just look through the sights and fire, no thinking... resulting in a bull. When I think about the shots, often they're 'bad' bulls or 9s, or even 8s. The more you think about taking the shot, and lining the sights up right, the worse the shot is, generally. Of course, you can't just fire from the hip and win competitions (usually) :P
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Re: Illogical gut feelings

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:34 pm UTC

Rakysh wrote:
SlyReaper wrote:
krazykate wrote:My illogical gut feeling is that I've always had to work with the prejudice against southern accents. When someone has a southern accent they automatically sound unintelligent.

It works the other way around in the UK. :P


Aw no he didn't.

People from Edinburgh sound way cleverer than, say, people from the west country. I'll give you the scouse and brummy accents, but Northumberlanders sound fairly clever, don't they?

*Shakes fist at the southerner*

(I'm from Wolverhampton originally, but I've now got a BBC accent)

My gut feelings are generally poor, especially during exams.


South Yorkshire has the clearest accent in england accordign to a BT survey, what with the M62 cutting through it, we're half south, half north.

(Real north - south divide is the M62 motorway.)
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Re: Illogical gut feelings

Postby Rakysh » Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:40 pm UTC

Talk to someone from London, and "north" is the Watford gap. Makes you want to cry.

In the past, when it comes to gut feelings, I have got the majority of 50/50 questions wrong. I should really start doing the opposite to my first thought.

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Re: Illogical gut feelings

Postby Armadillo Al » Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:54 pm UTC

Pretty much every gut feeling I've ever had.

Especially while playing poker.
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Re: Illogical gut feelings

Postby SlyReaper » Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:47 pm UTC

Rakysh wrote:
SlyReaper wrote:
krazykate wrote:My illogical gut feeling is that I've always had to work with the prejudice against southern accents. When someone has a southern accent they automatically sound unintelligent.

It works the other way around in the UK. :P


Aw no he didn't.

People from Edinburgh sound way cleverer than, say, people from the west country. I'll give you the scouse and brummy accents, but Northumberlanders sound fairly clever, don't they?

*Shakes fist at the southerner*

(I'm from Wolverhampton originally, but I've now got a BBC accent)

My gut feelings are generally poor, especially during exams.


It's funny actually. I moved to Bristol 3 months ago; I swear this is the only city I've been to (and I'm fairly well-travelled within England) where the inhabitants sound like they've rocked up straight from the farms. Fairly thick Gloucestershire/Somerset accents here. Every other southern/midlands city I've been to, it's either been chav-speak or BBC accents.
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Re: Illogical gut feelings

Postby nightlina » Thu Mar 26, 2009 5:37 am UTC

Armadillo Al wrote:Pretty much every gut feeling I've ever had.

Especially while playing poker.

So far my gut feeling has been doing pretty well for me at poker. I've played two games in my life and both times I seemed to magically end up with everyone's chips. I don't really know how it happened. My boyfriend wants to take me to the casino so I can win some money for him, but I think that would be just a little too stressful for me.

Plus poker is a boring game. Munchkins all the way!!
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Re: Illogical gut feelings

Postby Gojoe » Thu Mar 26, 2009 6:04 am UTC

nightlina wrote:
Armadillo Al wrote:Pretty much every gut feeling I've ever had.

Especially while playing poker.

So far my gut feeling has been doing pretty well for me at poker. I've played two games in my life and both times I seemed to magically end up with everyone's chips. I don't really know how it happened. My boyfriend wants to take me to the casino so I can win some money for him, but I think that would be just a little too stressful for me.

Plus poker is a boring game. Munchkins all the way!!
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Re: Illogical gut feelings

Postby the tree » Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:54 am UTC

I'm fairly sure north is everything after the Watford gap. My accent seems to fluctuate based on context - it's basically a combination of all available Essex accents - so I sound every kind of stupid.

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Re: Illogical gut feelings

Postby SlyReaper » Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:29 am UTC

the tree wrote:I'm fairly sure north is everything after the Watford gap. My accent seems to fluctuate based on context - it's basically a combination of all available Essex accents - so I sound every kind of stupid.


My accent always seems to change to mimic the person I'm talking to. I don't even realise I'm doing it until the other person says "are you taking the piss out of my accent?"
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Re: Illogical gut feelings

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:41 pm UTC

Gut feelings are good, but it's important to recognize when and where they're useful. I think it's mostly about experience, as they are in many respects the influence of experience. Now, when you're in a territory where that experience doesn't apply, it's important to realize that your gut may be wrong--go find some math, any math, involving infinity and you'll see what I mean.
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Re: Illogical gut feelings

Postby Bright Shadows » Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:54 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:
the tree wrote:I'm fairly sure north is everything after the Watford gap. My accent seems to fluctuate based on context - it's basically a combination of all available Essex accents - so I sound every kind of stupid.


My accent always seems to change to mimic the person I'm talking to. I don't even realise I'm doing it until the other person says "are you taking the piss out of my accent?"


I do this too, but people don't get mad, and I take longer. Maybe 2 days in the US south, and I could pass as a local.
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Re: Illogical gut feelings

Postby Cryopyre » Fri Mar 27, 2009 6:21 am UTC

Gojoe wrote:
nightlina wrote:
Armadillo Al wrote:Pretty much every gut feeling I've ever had.

Especially while playing poker.

So far my gut feeling has been doing pretty well for me at poker. I've played two games in my life and both times I seemed to magically end up with everyone's chips. I don't really know how it happened. My boyfriend wants to take me to the casino so I can win some money for him, but I think that would be just a little too stressful for me.

Plus poker is a boring game. Munchkins all the way!!
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