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Thread: Statistical interpretation

  1. #1 Statistical interpretation 
    Forum Freshman Leukocyte's Avatar
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    Say you see a woman who is quiet, wears glasses and has a good attention to detail.

    Is it more likely that she's a farmer, a librarian or a politician? Why?


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  3. #2  
    Forum Sophomore L.E.A.P.'s Avatar
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    I won't use maths for this and if I have to use some, please tell me as soon as you can so that I can correct my stupidity...

    Librarian.

    Reasons:

    Librarians like to read, ALL the time, even at night... If the woman is married, she might not want to wake up her husband at night: she reads in a very mellow light, wich is not good for her eyes and so on... Now this explains the glasses.

    That librarian might be a fan of thriller books with alot of details about the main caracters, so when she looks at people or hings, she likes to take a good look at them to see every single interesting detail about them.

    She is quiet because she likes to think in her head, while looking at other people and details and formulating sentences that she would immagine in her favorite book.

    The woman isn't reading at the moment because her glasses need to be changed, she can't see from close.


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  4. #3  
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    I definately would not say librarian. the term is way too restricted. Their are just not that many librarians. Politician is broad term and so is farmer. You have to say polititian.

    Polititian. Unless im in a library or on a farm lol. Otherwise, polititian can be anybody with drive. yea maybe she has glasses, a lot of people do. maybe she is quiet, but because she is work really hard managing things. I know attention to detail would be good for that kind of stuff.

    The likely is polititian and if you type in polititian, farmer, librarian you will see their is way more opportunity for a woman where we are to be a polititian, not a library or farmer
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  5. #4  
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    By my extensive calculations, there's a 17% chance she's a farmer, 13% chance she's a librarian, 11% chance she's a politician, 7% chance she's a polician who farms (they do exist!), 9% chance she's a farmer with a library, 3% chance she's a politican whos illiterate, 5% chances she farms books, and a 35% chance she's a sheep.

    Clearly sheep is the most likely choice.

    this isn't a statistics question unless you have some kinds of details on the distribution of employment corresponding to those characteristics or some other information, it's pure speculation as you've asked it.
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  6. #5 Re: Statistical interpretation 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leukocyte
    Say you see a woman who is quiet, wears glasses and has a good attention to detail.

    Is it more likely that she's a farmer, a librarian or a politician? Why?
    It depends on where she is and how you notice this attention to detail. For the farmer would notice more details on a farm, a librarian would notice more details in the library or about books, and a politician would notice more details about people.

    That said, I would say that the glasses bias the probabilities very slightly towards librarian (near sighted from reading many books), and against being a politician who would be a little more likely to wear contact lenses.

    As for being quiet, again it depends on the situation. The politician may be the best listener and the most out-spoken on political issues, etc....
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  7. #6  
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    Its a 100% chance that she is a farmer.

    Criterion 1: Quiet
    Criterion 2: Glasses
    Criterion 3: Pays attention to detail carefully


    Politicians: Required to talk alot on a daily basis, is possible to criterion 2, and 3.

    Librarians: Also required to talk and help students out on a daily basis, can have bad eye site as well so can go with 1, and 3 as well due to the ability for detailed organization.


    Now my answer is the farmer because they must pay close attention to their crops, their eyesite can go bad from being in the sun so long, and the farmer may live in solitude in the middle of nowhere.
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  8. #7  
    Forum Freshman Leukocyte's Avatar
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    The answer is that statistically speaking, chances are she is a farmer regardless of her characteristics. The amount of librarians and politicians in the world is next to nothing compared to the amount of farmers.

    Okay fine, argue, I just heard it on a radio show about statistical interpretation yesterday and thought I'd ask it here. I'm no mathematician!
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  9. #8  
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    I have just been talking to a Leukocyte...

    Have I,

    a) been talking to someone on the net or
    b) conversing with my own red blood cells?
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by billco
    I have just been talking to a Leukocyte...

    Have I,

    a) been talking to someone on the net or
    b) conversing with my own red blood cells?
    By my calculations, it's a 27% chance of a), a mere 6% chance of b) and a whopping 67% chance you have been

    c) talking to the bottom of a large empty glass that formerly contained beer
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  11. #10  
    Forum Freshman Leukocyte's Avatar
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    I have just been talking to a Leukocyte...

    Have I,

    a) been talking to someone on the net or
    b) conversing with my own red blood cells?
    Leukocytes are white blood cells :P
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leukocyte
    I have just been talking to a Leukocyte...

    Have I,

    a) been talking to someone on the net or
    b) conversing with my own red blood cells?
    Leukocytes are white blood cells :P
    Yes, It was a play on statistics, - ie 100% talking to you 0% on anything else.
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  13. #12  
    Forum Masters Degree invert_nexus's Avatar
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    What an odd world.
    While on a merry chase through Wikipedia beginning with Apophenia of all things...

    I came across this: Representativeness heuristic.

    I believe that this is exactly what the opening post was referencing...

    Strange strange strange.
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    Edit:
    Man, Billco, you're at 854 posts already?!
    You're a real post-whore, eh? No offense, this forum needs a few post-whores...
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  14. #13  
    Forum Professor river_rat's Avatar
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    I was trying to find that paradox when i first saw this thread - thanks i_v
    As is often the case with technical subjects we are presented with an unfortunate choice: an explanation that is accurate but incomprehensible, or comprehensible but wrong.
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