Comment by joe5 on Burdensome Details · 2007-09-21T03:47:40.000Z · LW · GW

In some situations, part of the problem may simply be that instead of calculating a joint probability, they are calculating a conditional probability. The effect of mistakenly calculating a conditional probability is that one event may seem highly probable given the other event occurred; I believe this could be a mathematical reason explaining the plausibility effect in some situations.

For example: the probability that USA and USSR suspend diplomatic relations given that Russia invades Poland is probably more likely than the marginal event, USA and USSR suspend diplomatic relations.