# Difference between revisions of "Priors"

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In the context of obtaining rational beliefs, someone's priors are their set of starting assumptions about the nature of the world, before updating their posterior beliefs on new evidence. | In the context of obtaining rational beliefs, someone's priors are their set of starting assumptions about the nature of the world, before updating their posterior beliefs on new evidence. | ||

− | == | + | ==See also== |

− | + | *[[Inductive bias]] | |

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− | ==== | + | ==Blog posts== |

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*[http://www.overcomingbias.com/2007/04/priors_as_mathe.html Priors as Mathematical Objects] by [[Eliezer Yudkowsky]] | *[http://www.overcomingbias.com/2007/04/priors_as_mathe.html Priors as Mathematical Objects] by [[Eliezer Yudkowsky]] | ||

*[http://www.overcomingbias.com/2007/04/inductive_bias.html Inductive Bias] by [[Eliezer Yudkowsky]] | *[http://www.overcomingbias.com/2007/04/inductive_bias.html Inductive Bias] by [[Eliezer Yudkowsky]] | ||

*[http://www.overcomingbias.com/2008/07/probability-is.html Probability is Subjectively Objective] by [[Eliezer Yudkowsky]] | *[http://www.overcomingbias.com/2008/07/probability-is.html Probability is Subjectively Objective] by [[Eliezer Yudkowsky]] | ||

− | + | * [http://lesswrong.com/lw/em/bead_jar_guesses/ Bead Jar Guesses] by [[Alicorn]] - Applied scenario about forming priors. | |

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− | * [http://lesswrong.com/lw/em/bead_jar_guesses/ Bead Jar Guesses] by [[Alicorn]] | ||

[[Category:Jargon]] | [[Category:Jargon]] | ||

[[Category:Concepts]] | [[Category:Concepts]] |

## Revision as of 08:10, 30 May 2009

A shorthand for prior probability distribution, as in Bayes' theorem.

When applying Bayes' Theorem, priors are your assumed starting points, obtained in an unspecified fashion, which are then used for accumulating evidence to obtain a posterior distribution. When pieces of evidence are independent of one another, calculation can be done iteratively, where a posterior is taken as an updated prior for the next calculation, but in the strict sense priors are never altered.

In the context of obtaining rational beliefs, someone's priors are their set of starting assumptions about the nature of the world, before updating their posterior beliefs on new evidence.

## See also

## Blog posts

- Priors as Mathematical Objects by Eliezer Yudkowsky
- Inductive Bias by Eliezer Yudkowsky
- Probability is Subjectively Objective by Eliezer Yudkowsky
- Bead Jar Guesses by Alicorn - Applied scenario about forming priors.