Updating the game dating advice conversation topics

While you are considering whether to change your bet, your friend teasingly adds: “And it's not a 4.” With this additional bit of information, your odds have changed again, to one in two, a 50 percent probability.With this very simple example, you have performed a Bayesian analysis.

updating the game-45

Updating the game

Something your friend says leads you to make a friendly wager: that with one roll of the die from the game, you will get a 6.

Straight odds are one in six, a 16 percent probability.

Thomas Bayes was an English minister in the first half of the 18th century, whose (now) most famous work, “An Essay toward Solving a Problem is the Doctrine of Chances,” was brought to the attention of the Royal Society in 1763 – two years after his death – by his friend Richard Price.

The essay, the key to what we now know as Bayes's Theorem, concerned how we should adjust probabilities when we encounter new data.

Each new piece of information affected the original probability, and that is a Bayesian inference.“Bayes's theorem,” Silver continues, “is concerned with conditional probability.

That is, it tells us the probability that a theory or hypothesis is true if some event has happened.” When our priors are strong, they can be surprisingly resilient in the face of new evidence.

But then suppose your friend rolls the die, quickly covers it with her hand, and takes a peek.

“I can tell you this much,” she says; “it's an even number.” Now you have new information and your odds change dramatically to one in three, a 33 percent probability.

However, each day that he survives and the sun rises again, his confidence increases that it is a permanent feature of nature.

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