[ Question ]

Where to find Base Rates?

by adam demirel 1 min read26th Feb 20197 comments


As we are all aware from Thinking, Fast and Slow, one of the largest decision-making errors we make is the Base Rate Fallacy. Just to remind you - the error is that we don't correctly apply probability reference classes to ourselves.

Two examples:

  • The likelihood of winning the lottery is x, but I am more likely to win than x.
  • 1 in x people will get lung cancer from smoking, but I won't.

This is all well and good, but my question is where you go about actually finding x. In other words - where do you find your base rates? Any particular repositories of knowledge that we should know about? Any processes that we should follow?

Let's say you've decided you want to reduce your risk of getting Coronary Heart Disease. Is your first stop to go to WHO and gather their list of recommendations, or something else?

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