illusion of knowledge

/Tag: illusion of knowledge

Survivorship bias and the enduring appeal of bad ideas


Survivorship bias occurs when we draw conclusions from examples which have passed some selection criteria and systematically discount those which have not. During World War II, British bombers were suffering a fairly awful attrition rate and the RAF were understandably keen to try to improve their survivability. Most of the bombers that limped back to base showed signs of heavy damage around the cockpit and wing tips and so the prevailing opinion was that if these sections of the aircraft were reinforced more planes would survive. Then, along came statistician, Abraham Wald who pointed out that engineers were only considering the [...]

Survivorship bias and the enduring appeal of bad ideas2018-10-09T13:19:52+00:00