The Ups and Downs of the Hope Function In a Fruitless Search

On Bayesian updating of beliefs in sequentially searching a set of possibilities where failure is possible, such as waiting for a bus; the psychologically counterintuitive implication is that success on the next search increases even as the total probability of success decreases.
psychology, statistics, survey, Bayes, insight-porn
by: Ruma Falk, Abigail Lipson, Clifford Konold 2012-07-012019-04-01 finished certainty: log importance: 4


This tran­script has been pre­pared from a scan of chap­ter 15, pages 353–377 in Sub­jec­tive Prob­a­bil­ity 1994, edited by G. Wright & P. Ayton. All links are my own inser­tion; ref­er­ences have been inserted as foot­notes at the first cita­tion.


  1. Bell, C.R. (1979) “Psy­cho­log­i­cal aspects of prob­a­bil­ity and uncer­tainty”. In C.R. Bell (ed.), Uncer­tain Out­comes, MTP Press, Lan­cast­er, Eng­land, pages 5–21.↩︎

  2. Jones, D.E.H. (1966) “On being blinded with sci­ence”. New Sci­en­tist, Novem­ber, 465–7.↩︎

  3. Feller, W. (1957) An Intro­duc­tion to Prob­a­bil­ity The­ory and its Appli­ca­tions, Vol. 1 (2nd edi­tion). Wiley, New York.↩︎

  4. Meshalk­in, L.D. (1973) Col­lec­tion of Prob­lems in Prob­a­bil­ity The­ory (L.F. Boron & B.A. Haworth, tran­s.) Noord­hoff, Ley­den, The Nether­lands (Orig­i­nal work pub­lished 1963).↩︎

  5. Falk, R. (1993) Under­stand­ing Prob­a­bil­ity and Sta­tis­tics: A Book of Prob­lems. AK Peters, Welles­ley, Ma.↩︎

  6. Gabriel, K.R. (1960) Nup­tial­ity and Fer­til­ity in Israel. Doc­toral dis­ser­ta­tion (in Hebrew with Eng­lish sum­ma­ry). The Hebrew Uni­ver­si­ty, Jerusalem.↩︎

  7. Tver­sky, A. & Kah­ne­man, D. (1982) “Evi­den­tial impact of base rates”. In D. Kah­ne­man, P. Slovic & A. Tver­sky (ed­s.), Judge­ment under Uncer­tain­ty: Heuris­tics and Biases. Cam­bridge Uni­ver­sity Press, Cam­bridge, pages 153–60.↩︎

  8. Falk, R. & Konold, C. (1992) “The psy­chol­ogy of learn­ing prob­a­bil­ity”. In F.S. Gor­don & S.P. Gor­don (ed­s.), Sta­tis­tics for the Twen­ty-First Cen­tury. The Math­e­mat­i­cal Asso­ci­a­tion of Amer­i­ca, USA, pages 151–64.↩︎

  9. Konold, C., Lohmeier, J., Pol­lat­sek, A., Well, A., Falk, R. & Lip­son, A. (1991) “Novice views on ran­dom­ness”. Pro­ceed­ings of the Thir­teenth Annual Meet­ing of the Inter­na­tional Group for the Psy­chol­ogy of math­e­mat­ics Edu­ca­tion—North Amer­i­can Chap­ter, 1, 167–73.↩︎

  10. Gigeren­z­er, G., Switjink, Z., Porter, T., Das­ton, L., Beat­ty, J. & Krueger, L. (1989) The Empire of Chance: How Prob­a­bil­ity Changed Sci­ence and Every­day Life. Cam­bridge Uni­ver­sity Press, Cam­bridge.↩︎

  11. Hack­ing, I. (1975) The Emer­gence of Prob­a­bil­ity. Cam­bridge Uni­ver­sity Press, Cam­bridge.↩︎

  12. Ennis, J. (1985) “Sta­tis­tics, St Peters­burg and Sel­l­afield”. New Sci­en­tist, May, 26–28.↩︎