Sunday, February 8, 2015

Conclusion = Hypothosis?

Real things I've been wrong about:
       The team I was sure would win the Super Bowl
       The smart investment move
       The right speed to navigating a curvy road

So how did I get to these wrong conclusions? A simple model:

                          Facts
                             | 
                       (Leads to)
                             |
                     Conclusion

I think that's a bit too simple. If you give two people the same facts they often come to very different conclusions.  Why?

Maybe it's context? General philosophies in which we organize and make sense of individual facts.1 

                         Facts
                             |
                    (Seen through)
                             |
General Philosophies/Frame of Reference/Schema
                             |
                       (Leads to)
                             |
                     Conclusion

This assumes the "rational observer". I am NOT. A more realistic model:

                         Facts
                             |
                    (Seen through)
                             |
General Philosophies/Frame of Reference/Schema
                             |
                     (Affected by)
                             |
                  Personal Desires
                             |
                       (Leads to)
                             |
                     Conclusion

Therefore, a conclusion (including this one!) is so separated from fact that it's basically a question without the question mark. In essence I think a conclusion is a hypothesis. Something to test:

       Hypothesis: The team I was sure would win the Super Bowl 
       Test: The Game
       Result: The other team won (just barely!)

       Hypothesis: The smart investment move
       Test: Moved my 401k from stocks to bonds
       Result: I made 1%! (but missed out on a 20% gain when the market recovered--oops)

       Hypothesis: The right speed to navigating a curvy road
       Test: Cruising along...
       Result: Slid off the road, one bent the axle, one more careful driver

No comments:

Post a Comment