PhilSci Archive

Walter the Banker: The Conjunction Fallacy Reconsidered

Hartmann, Stephan and Meijs, Wouter (2010) Walter the Banker: The Conjunction Fallacy Reconsidered. [Preprint]

This is the latest version of this item.


Download (241kB)


In a famous experiment by Tversky and Kahneman (1983), featuring Linda the bank teller, the participants assign a higher probability to a conjunction of propositions than to one of the conjuncts, thereby seemingly committing a probabilistic fallacy. In this paper, we discuss a slightly different example featuring someone named Walter, who also happens to work at a bank, and argue that, in this example, it is rational to assign a higher probability to the conjunction of suitably chosen propositions than to one of the conjuncts. By pointing out the similarities between Tversky and Kahneman's experiment and our example, we argue that the participants in the experiment may assign probabilities to the propositions in question in such a way that it is also rational for them to give the conjunction a higher probability than one of the conjuncts.

Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Preprint
Hartmann, Stephan
Meijs, Wouter
Additional Information: This paper will appear in Synthese 179:2 (2011).
Keywords: Conjunction fallacy, Linda problem, psychology of reasoning, Bayesian epistemology
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
General Issues > Decision Theory
General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
Specific Sciences > Psychology/Psychiatry
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
Depositing User: Stephan Hartmann
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2010
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:19
Item ID: 5506

Available Versions of this Item

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item