Category: Decision-making paradoxes

Inventor's paradox
The inventor's paradox is a phenomenon that occurs in seeking a solution to a given problem. Instead of solving a specific type of problem, which would seem intuitively easier, it can be easier to sol
Mandarin paradox
The Mandarin paradox is an ethical parable used to illustrate the difficulty of fulfilling moral obligations when moral punishment is unlikely or impossible, leading to moral disengagement. It has bee
Exchange paradox
No description available.
Paradox of tolerance
The paradox of tolerance states that if a society is tolerant without limit, its ability to be tolerant is eventually seized or destroyed by the intolerant. Karl Popper described it as the seemingly s
Green paradox
The Green Paradox is the title of a controversial book by German economist, Hans-Werner Sinn, describing the observation that an environmental policy that becomes greener with the passage of time acts
Paradox of voting
The paradox of voting, also called Downs' paradox, is that for a rational, self-interested voter, the costs of voting will normally exceed the expected benefits. Because the chance of exercising the p
Fenno's paradox
Fenno's paradox is the belief that people generally disapprove of the United States Congress as a whole, but support the congressmen from their own congressional districts. It is named after political
Newcomb's paradox
In philosophy and mathematics, Newcomb's paradox, also known as Newcomb's problem, is a thought experiment involving a game between two players, one of whom is able to predict the future. Newcomb's pa
Parrondo's paradox
Parrondo's paradox, a paradox in game theory, has been described as: A combination of losing strategies becomes a winning strategy. It is named after its creator, Juan Parrondo, who discovered the par
Abilene paradox
In the Abilene paradox, a group of people collectively decide on a course of action that is counter to the preferences of many or all of the individuals in the group. It involves a common breakdown of
Arrow's impossibility theorem
Arrow's impossibility theorem, the general possibility theorem or Arrow's paradox is an impossibility theorem in social choice theory that states that when voters have three or more distinct alternati
Condorcet paradox
The Condorcet paradox (also known as the voting paradox or the paradox of voting) in social choice theory is a situation noted by the Marquis de Condorcet in the late 18th century, in which collective
Fredkin's paradox
Fredkin's paradox concerns the negative correlation between the difference between two options and the difficulty of deciding between them. Developed further, the paradox constitutes a major challenge
Willpower paradox
The willpower paradox is the idea that people may do things better by focusing less directly on doing them, implying that the direct exertion of volition may not always be the most powerful way to acc
Monty Hall problem
The Monty Hall problem is a brain teaser, in the form of a probability puzzle, loosely based on the American television game show Let's Make a Deal and named after its original host, Monty Hall. The p
Necktie paradox
The necktie paradox is a puzzle and paradox with a subjective interpretation of probability theory describing a paradoxical bet advantageous to both involved parties. The two-envelope paradox is a var
Decision-making paradox
The decision-making paradox is a phenomenon related to decision-making and the quest for determining reliable decision-making methods. It was first described by Triantaphyllou , and has been recognize
Allais paradox
The Allais paradox is a choice problem designed by Maurice Allais to show an inconsistency of actual observed choices with the predictions of expected utility theory.
Prevention paradox
The prevention paradox describes the seemingly contradictory situation where the majority of cases of a disease come from a population at low or moderate risk of that disease, and only a minority of c
Morton's fork
A Morton's fork is a type of false dilemma in which contradictory observations lead to the same conclusion. It is said to have originated with the rationalising of a benevolence by the 15th century En
Ellsberg paradox
In decision theory, the Ellsberg paradox (or Ellsberg's paradox) is a paradox in which people's decisions are inconsistent with subjective expected utility theory. Daniel Ellsberg popularized the para
Pascal's mugging
In philosophy, Pascal's mugging is a thought-experiment demonstrating a problem in expected utility maximization. A rational agent should choose actions whose outcomes, when weighed by their probabili
Disposition effect
The disposition effect is an anomaly discovered in behavioral finance. It relates to the tendency of investors to sell assets that have increased in value, while keeping assets that have dropped in va
Chainstore paradox
The chainstore paradox is an apparent game theory paradox involving the chain store game, where a "deterrence strategy" appears optimal instead of the backward induction strategy of standard game theo
Two envelopes problem
The two envelopes problem, also known as the exchange paradox, is a paradox in probability theory. It is of special interest in decision theory, and for the Bayesian interpretation of probability theo
Apportionment paradox
An apportionment paradox exists when the rules for apportionment in a political system produce results which are unexpected or seem to violate common sense. To apportion is to divide into parts accord
Three Prisoners problem
The Three Prisoners problem appeared in Martin Gardner's "Mathematical Games" column in Scientific American in 1959. It is mathematically equivalent to the Monty Hall problem with car and goat replace
Hard–easy effect
The hard–easy effect is a cognitive bias that manifests itself as a tendency to overestimate the probability of one's success at a task perceived as hard, and to underestimate the likelihood of one's
Siegel's paradox
Siegel's paradox is the phenomenon that uncertainty about future prices can theoretically push rational consumers to temporarily trade away their preferred consumption goods (or currency) for non-pref
Navigation paradox
The navigation paradox states that increased navigational precision may result in increased collision risk. In the case of ships and aircraft, the advent of Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation
Kavka's toxin puzzle
Kavka's toxin puzzle is a thought experiment about the possibility of forming an intention to perform an act which, following from reason, is an action one would not actually perform. It was presented
St. Petersburg paradox
The St. Petersburg paradox or St. Petersburg lottery is a paradox involving the game of flipping a coin where the expected payoff of the theoretical lottery game approaches infinity but nevertheless s
Buridan's ass
Buridan's ass is an illustration of a paradox in philosophy in the conception of free will.It refers to a hypothetical situation wherein an ass (donkey) that is equally hungry and thirsty is placed pr