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# ed_johnson

Karma: 12
• Con­stant made an im­por­tant point: in­finitely many rules are con­sis­tent with the ev­i­dence no mat­ter how many in­stances you test. There­fore any guess you make must be in­fluenced by prior ex­pec­ta­tions. And like lu­sispe­dro said, based on ex­pe­rience stu­dents prob­a­bly put a lot more weight on rules based on sim­ple equa­tions than rules based on in­equal­ities.

I’m sure I could get the per­centage of peo­ple who guess cor­rectly down to 0% by sim­ply choos­ing the perfectly valid rule: “se­quences (a,b,c) such that EITHER a less than b less than c OR b is a mul­ti­ple of 73.”

Why? Be­cause rules of that sort are given low weight in sub­jects’ pri­ors.

• I agree with AC...you’re be­ing too hard on the stu­dents. I doubt very much they were stat­ing any­thing with con­fi­dence. It’s quite pos­si­ble that some of them didn’t re­ally care about un­der­stand­ing physics and were just try­ing to get the right an­swer to please the teacher, but oth­ers were prob­a­bly just think­ing out loud. Think­ing “maybe it’s heat con­duc­tion” might just be the first step to think­ing “no, it can’t be heat con­duc­tion,” or even to re­al­iz­ing “I don’t re­ally un­der­stand heat con­duc­tion,” and there is noth­ing wrong with this train of thought. They were prob­a­bly “bi­ased” to­wards the idea that there was some phys­i­cal prin­ci­ple caus­ing the effect, but that was en­tirely ra­tio­nal be­cause the pro­fes­sor set them up to be­lieve that.

Great story, though.