Biased beliefs about random samples

  1. Matthew Rabin

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Category: Project

Description: Project examines intuitive misconceptions of chance. The authors affectionately referred to this as the "Barney" project. Don't ask us why.

This project represents an accepted preprint submitted to PsyArXiv . Learn more about how to work with preprint files. View preprint


This paper describes results of a pair of incentivized experiments on biases in probabilistic judgments about random samples. Consistent with the Law of Small Numbers (LSN), participants exaggerated the likelihood that short sequences and random subsets of coin flips would be balanced between heads and tails. Consistent with the Non-Belief in the Law of Large Numbers (NBLLN), participants underes...


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  • Experiment 1 (2010)

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  • Experiment 2 (2014)

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