[MUD-Dev] [DGN] Subjective randomness (was: The psychology of random numbers)

Felix A. Croes felix at dworkin.nl
Thu Jan 29 13:13:00 CET 2004

"Robert Zubek" <rob at cs.northwestern.edu> wrote:
> From: Brian Hook

>>   T T T F T T T F T T T F T T T F

>> Or at least something approximation that.  If they occasionally
>> get a:

>>   F F F F F F T T T T T T T F F F

>> They freak out because it's "impossible" to get 6 failures in a
>> row (when, in fact, it's guaranteed to happen at some point).

> Subjective randomness is a notorious psychological effect - in a
> series of random events, people seem more sensitive to the
> *probability of change* than the probability of the event itself.

Subjective randomness aside, is it really so strange that people
don't expect 6 consequtive failures in a row?

If I'm fighting an orc and miss it 3 times in a row, I am going to
make very sure that I hit it the next time, by making my hitting
strategy more conservative.  It is perfectly reasonable not to
expect a random sequence of hits if you're doing the hitting.

The issue is not just that people expect less than true randomness,
but that MUDs use randomness to model processes which aren't truly

Felix Croes
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