Built in bias

One of the biases that people rely on when they make decisions is loss aversion: like in the insurance example above, they tend to overweight small probabilities to guard against losses. Even though the likelihood of a costly event may be miniscule, we would rather agree to a smaller, sure loss — in the form of an insurance payment — than risk a large expense. The perceived likelihood of a major health problem is greater than the actual probability of such an event actually occurring. We would all like to believe that we are logical decision makers. In the field of user experience, we often talk about how users weigh the expected utility of different alternatives to determine what action to take or where to go next.

Bias in Polling: the Cell Phone Challenge

Pew’s latest report (May 2010) notes a couple of important polling issues that arise as many people go “cell only” and pollsters continue to use phone polls. It is more complex and costly to include cell phones in a poll sample. I’ve bolded what I thought would influence how I consider election eve and other election talk this year and from now on. Nate Silver, uses his “kitchen sink” approach to making estimates and predictions, partly in response to bias such as this. And Mark Blumenthal at pollster.com highlights the real problem with looking at polls from the past and trying to base the reliability of future polls on them:
Calling by cell phone adds considerable expense and runs up against a federal law that bars pollsters from dialing a cell phone using any automated means.

Inside the Mommy Blogger Business – Advertising Age – About Digital

So the AdAge video covers Mommy Blogs. The interviewee writes a comment that the interview is great. What could be wrong? Check out the patronizing background of bottles and Teddy Bears. This arouses those of us who just said “no” to bottle feeding and nursed our kids, and it riles the mom bloggers who don’t want to draw a division between stay-at-home moms and those who choose to work.