GGAL Post-it: Probable VS Plausible

Sup Busy Bees!
Welcome back to GGAL Post-its! The series that brings the brain candy in bite size bursts!

Before we get into today’s post-it, I would like to remind everyone to check out The Games That Define Us! We’ve had some incredible entries so far and there is a whole month more in store!


Think about something that will probably happen today. You got it? Now think about something that would plausibly happen today… can you see the difference? If not keep reading my friend cause it’s mind blowing time! I’m gonna run you through a case and then you have to answer the question at the end, so pay attention!

Mario likes to wear red. He likes to travel via pipes around the Mushroom Kingdom. He has a brother called Luigi and they are both plumbers. His arch nemesis is called Bowser and he often needs to save his Girlfriend called Princess Peach.

Questions Time!

Based on the previous case, which scenario is more probable:

A) Mario likes ferrets
B) Mario likes ferrets and is the face of the Mario video game series

Have you picked? Well the answer is in fact… drum-roll please… A!

Why, you may be asking, well the answer lies in math (ewwww). The probability of two things happening after another (or in conjunction), is always lower than just the first thing happening. Look at it this way:

C) Masterchief puts on his armor
D) Masterchief puts on his armor then finishes the fight.

C is obviously more likely to happen than D as C happens in both scenarios while D only happens in one. The reason you may have gotten the first question wrong is because of the picture your brain put together is based on the context. This is known as a “heuristic bias”. Essentially you may have gotten it wrong because what you thought was probable was actually plausible.

analysis blackboard board bubble
Photo by Pixabay on

If you would like to more about all this then check out the “Linda Problem”, on which this article was based. Also, one of the creators of the “Linda Problem”, Daniel Kahneman, wrote an incredible book on his research into heuristics and biases (why our brains make us do all kinds of wacky things), called “Thinking, Fast and Slow”

So there you have it, “The Conjunction Fallacy” on a post-it!

GG Everyone!

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