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Judgment under uncertainty: Evolution may not favor a probabilistic calculus

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 February 2010

Lev R. Ginzburg
Department of Ecology and Evolution, State University of New York, Stony Brook, NY 11794.
Charles Janson
Department of Ecology and Evolution, State University of New York, Stony Brook, NY 11794.
Scott Ferson
Applied Biomathematics, Setauket, NY 11733.


The environment in which humans evolved is strongly and positively autocorrelated in space and time. Probabilistic judgments based on the assumption of independence may not yield evolutionarily adaptive behavior. A number of “faults” of human reasoning are not faulty under fuzzy arithmetic, a nonprobabilistic calculus of reasoning under uncertainty that may be closer to that underlying human decision making.

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Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1996

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