We Suck at Probabilities

I have often noted (for example, here) that we generally suck at math, to our great detriment.  I have also noted that we are especially poor at dealing with probabilities.  If a weather forecaster says that there is an 80 percent chance of rain and it remains sunny, instead of waiting to see if it rains 80 out of 100 times when his or her forecast called for an 80 percent chance of rain, we race to conclude — perhaps based upon that single instance — that the forecaster isn’t any good. Data trumps our lyin’ eyes, but we don’t routinely see it. Continue reading