How we make decisions under uncertainty #2

Posted on September 15, 2011


Here’s a simple table outling 5 types of decsion makers:

Confidence level


C = 0.9 to 1 True deductive believer—rejects (–) evidence
C = 0.7 to 0.8 Strong deductive believer—discounts (–) evidence
C = 0.4 to 0.6 Reasonable person who becomes overwhelmed by information overload and conflicting evidence; unproductive because of inability to settle on a given hypothesis (Ei), or evidence-sorting ritual (g), long enough to go to press
C = 0.2 to 0.3 Strong inductive believer—sophisticated (g’s)
C = 0.1 to 0 True inductive believer—dogmatic (g) rituals


Now lets’s look a little closer at tbe different types starting with “true believers”:

true believers

At the top of Table 17.1, we encounter the true believers or bigots. These are people who have very high confidence (C = 0.9 to 1) in a particular hypothesis so that subsequent evidence or data have little or no effect. Therefore, the final estimate (Ef) equals the initial estimate (Ei). In the scientific domain, such true believers would probably lose support, and would be unlikely to be productive theorists, unless, at least for a time, they run their own journals or town their own publishing house.

Now let’s move from the decision maker who has very high confidence in their initial belief, to those who have no confidence in an initial belief but have very high confidence in a ritual or routine or formula for making a decision:

Posted in: Sciencing