View Complete Reference

Burns, BD (2020)

Do people fit to Benfordís law, or do they have a Benford bias?

Proceedings of the 42nd Annual Virtual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, pp. 1729-1735.

ISSN/ISBN: Not available at this time. DOI: Not available at this time.



Abstract: Smith (2015) describes an explosion of interest in Benfordís law, that for data from many domains the first digits have a log distribution. Few studies have similarly asked whether the numbers people generate fit to Benfordís law, but recent data show a reasonable fit. This paper argues that testing for fit to Benfordís law is the wrong question for behavioural data, instead we should think in terms of a ďBenford biasĒ in which the first-digit distribution is distorted towards Benfordís law. We propose calculating the effect size of this bias by testing a linear contrast weighted by Benfordís law. Analyses of existing data sets yielded effect sizes of 0.43-0.52. Applying this approach to a new task extended the scope of Benford bias to predicting outputs of a linear system and found an effect size of .40. Benford bias may be a ubiquitous influence on judgments and decisions based on numbers.


Bibtex:
@inproceedings{, AUTHOR={Bruce D. Burns}, TITLE={Do people fit to Benfordís law, or do they have a Benford bias?}, BOOKTITLE={Proceedings of the 42nd Annual Virtual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society}, PAGES = {1729-1735}, YEAR={2020}, URL={https://cognitivesciencesociety.org/cogsci20/papers/0379/0379.pdf}, }


Reference Type: Conference Paper

Subject Area(s): Psychology