Topic X. Types of Errors and their Costs
Context for this filter:
- B. CONCEPT ACQUISITION
- Good decision-making under uncertainty involves having sufficient signal (an adequate test) and setting your threshold appropriately for the relative costs of false positives and false negatives.
- Exemplary Quotes
- "The oncoming asteroid has only a 1% chance of hitting Earth. But if it does, life on Earth will be destroyed. It'll be expensive to stop the asteroid, but the risk is bad enough it's worth it."
- "It's true that sometimes seatbelts cause deaths, when people get stuck in them and can't get out. But they more often save lives, so it is prudent to wear your seatbelt whenever you drive."
- Cautionary Quotes: Mistakes, Misconceptions, & Misunderstandings
- "We don't have to prepare for the hurricane they're forecasting might hit, because most of the time they say a hurricane might come, it turns out to be not that bad."
- C. CONCEPT APPLICATION
- Weigh the costs associated with false positives/negatives with the benefits associated with true positives/negatives when making a decision under uncertain conditions.
- Explain how people could come to different decisions or policies as a result of different utilities/values associated with different types of errors, even if they agree about the relevant facts.