Probability in everyday life

  • System 1 is impulsive, intuitive, and extremely fast in taking decisions based on whatever we perceive. Examples of situations where System 1 is active: When you are browsing Twitter feeds or watching a news channel (quick to jump to conclusions) or when you sense danger and multiple other situations that demand a quick response.
  • System 2 on the other hand is capable of reasoning, very slow, methodical, and analytical in making an inference. Secondly System 2 is lazy: most of the time it simply endorses the interpretations of System 1! It is at work when you are solving an exam, trying to remember something, filing your taxes, comparing products, etc. A lot of effort and energy (glucose) is required while your System 2 is engaged.
  1. “0 0 1” means not getting a lift in the first two attempts and getting a lift in the 3rd attempt.
  2. Every attempt is independent, hence not getting a lift in an attempt does not influence the chance of outcomes in your next attempt.
  3. In every attempt, the probabilities of all the outcomes (in this case only two) should sum to 100%.
  4. The probability of every journey is computed by taking the product of the probabilities of every attempt. So probability of journey “0 0 1” = (Probability of NOT getting a ride in the 1st attempt) x (Probability of NOT getting a ride in the 2nd attempt) x (Probability of getting a ride in the 3rd attempt)
  5. The sum of the probabilities of all the journeys should be equal to 100%
  1. Sum the probabilities of journey number 2 (0 0 1) through journey number 8 (1 1 1) which comes out to be 87.5%
  2. Compute the probability of NOT getting a lift in any attempt (0 0 0) and subtract it from 1. I like this approach: 1 minus {probability of not getting a lift in any attempt.} which is also equal to 87.5%
  1. Manage to get a ride in the very 1st attempt (1: Probability = 50%)
  2. Fail in the first attempt but succeed in the 2nd attempt (“0 1”: Probability = 0.5²)
  3. Fail in the first two attempts but manage to get a ride in the 3rd attempt. (“0 0 1”: 0.5³)

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