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 06-04-2012, 07:30 AM #1 banned     Join Date: Apr 2012 Location: madnak's biggest fan Posts: 304 Probability that my sub-conscience... I was sitting around listening to some music very loudly, waiting for some friends to message me to tell me when they where going to come around, I suddenly thought to myself that with the music this loud, I probably wouldn't be able to hear it if it went off, so I grabbed my phone with the intentions of checking whether it had a message and to move it closer to me. To my surprise, I received a message at 20:47, and the time I grabbed my phone was at 20:48. I was curios what the probability was that my sub-conscious actually vaguely heard it, but not enough that my conscious mind picked up on it, but enough to get me thinking about it and proceeded to look at my phone. I wasn't quick enough to immediate start counting the time, but I did watch the clock until it switched over to 20:49, and it took quite some time to flick over, enough for it to be very plausible that the SMS did trigger a reminded of my phone. Can Bayesian probability deduce the chance that this was a fluke or not?
 06-04-2012, 09:15 AM #2 Carpal \'Tunnel     Join Date: Jun 2005 Location: Psychology Department Posts: 7,430 Re: Probability that my sub-conscience... It is possible that you heard the phone beep but were not consciously aware of it. It would be impossible to quantify the probability that this was the case though. However, I think it is more likely that you looked at your phone because you knew your friends were about to message you soon and your friends had messaged you because they were supposed to message you soon.
 06-04-2012, 02:09 PM #3 Pooh-Bah     Join Date: Jul 2005 Location: Phoenix Posts: 4,677 Re: Probability that my sub-conscience... Here's one. I spent the day cooking and surfing the Internet yesterday. Three consecutive times I set the stove timer to remind me that a pot or the oven needed to be attended -- and all three times, on impulse, I got up and went into the kitchen without the timer going off -- and every time the timer was at :01 (less than 1 minute). Timers were set between :30 and 1:30. I was not watching the time or the computer clock, don't wear a watch, and don't have a clock in my office. The third time it happened really felt weird.
 06-05-2012, 05:44 AM #4 banned     Join Date: Apr 2012 Location: madnak's biggest fan Posts: 304 Re: Probability that my sub-conscience... I thought with some assumptions this could be calculated somewhat. Couldn't we give some sort of probability of being messaged at each different time interval? So maybe say there is a 0% chance they'd message +150 minutes, 1% 140-150, 2.5% 130-140, 4.5% 120-130, etc. Than I counted around 40 seconds from when I checked my phone; can't it be recorded how long it takes for me to check my phone, and a similar process as above to figure out the likelihood I did indeed hear the phone, checked it and than looked at the time? If it's out of whack by like 15 seconds, I can deduce the chances are rather small for example, but if it's in the very plausible range, than that term could have a high value. Couldn't I than factor in knowledge of how the world works? So maybe I look into this a lot and find it is relatively common, which increases the chances a ton.
 06-05-2012, 05:45 AM #5 banned     Join Date: Apr 2012 Location: madnak's biggest fan Posts: 304 Re: Probability that my sub-conscience... Kinda a crazy story with the stove alarm btw, the same happens me with my alarm, I wake up every time when I need to I wonder why bother to use it, but it's good for paranoid/insurances sake.
06-05-2012, 01:47 PM   #6
Pooh-Bah

Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 4,677
Re: Probability that my sub-conscience...

Quote:
 Originally Posted by omnimirage the II Kinda a crazy story with the stove alarm btw, the same happens me with my alarm, I wake up every time when I need to I wonder why bother to use it, but it's good for paranoid/insurances sake.
I have the same experience. But in the context of your original question;

Quote:
 Can Bayesian probability deduce the chance that this was a fluke or not?
The seconds on either side of the set time (or expected phone call) have to be given a different weight than the seconds farther away -- assuming that the observer has some sense of time passing or when an event should/will occur. I would guess that if you plotted the outcome of people guessing the exact moment when 10 minutes had passed, the answers would look like a normal distribution around the correct time -- but I've never read about any work in that area.

06-05-2012, 01:56 PM   #7
Pooh-Bah

Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 4,677
Re: Probability that my sub-conscience...

Quote:
 I would guess that if you plotted the outcome of people guessing the exact moment when 10 minutes had passed, the answers would look like a normal distribution around the correct time.
The more I think about that, it would depend what people guessing were doing. If they were just waiting for 10 minutes to pass, I think that as a group they would be early -- and if they were otherwise occupied, they would as a group be late. I can't place exactly what bias I'm thinking of.

 06-08-2012, 12:42 AM #8 old hand     Join Date: Sep 2007 Location: St. ELMO!!! Posts: 1,208 Re: Probability that my sub-conscience... I wake up a min to 30 secs before my alarm on important days , just creeps me out really. Especially when I go to grab the phone to check the time when I wake up without an alarm and then by the time I make out the time it starts buzzing
06-08-2012, 10:31 AM   #9
Pooh-Bah

Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 4,677
Re: Probability that my sub-conscience...

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Michaellawre I wake up a min to 30 secs before my alarm on important days , just creeps me out really. Especially when I go to grab the phone to check the time when I wake up without an alarm and then by the time I make out the time it starts buzzing
There are definitely a lot of things going on in our brains, very efficiently, that we are completely unaware of -- but respond to.

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