Name That Cognitive Bias

Like most people of pronounced seniority he reads the obituary page with attention, and had a morning of quiet triumph last winter when two insurance shamans, a past president of the Actuarial Society of America and the vice-president of a major company, died on the same day aged sixty-two and fifty-four respectively. “I bet they avoided excitement, late hours, high blood pressure, tasty food and intoxicating liquors and had themselves periodically examined with stethoscopes, fluoroscopes, spectroscopes and high-powered lenses,” the Colonel said. “The result was inevitable and to be expected, the result of a morbid preoccupation. The anxious fielder drops the ball.”

I twitted him with the vigorous old age attained by Mrs. Ella Boole, past president of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, who recently passed on in their ninety-fourth year, but the Colonel had a ready explanation of her survival.

“She must have been a secret tippler,” he said.



From The Honest Rainmaker. And, by the way, it’s confirmation bias. I’ve been running into this one everywhere.


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