How do people think about chance unprompted in everyday life?
Much research in psychology and behavioral economics has focussed on
cognitive biases in decisions under uncertainty. That mostly involves hypothetical
questions or experiments in which subjects are required to think about chance.
But how do people think about chance unprompted in everyday life?
There seems no established academic literature on this.
Our own study is recorded on the following pages.
The bottom line from this exercise was that people's interests are very different
from what one finds in either textbook or popular science accounts of probability.
This was useful in developing our
map of the world of chance.
Also we were surprised that quite a lot of thoughts concerned
reflections on past events as lucky/unlucky or likely/unlikely.