Talk:Survivorship bias

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Arts, Manufacturing, Architecture, Careers =[edit]

I have added 4 new categories of examples to this article, but I have not added any supporting sources. I would appreciate help in that regard. — Preceding unsigned comment added by ZippyDan (talkcontribs) 16:16, 6 October 2015 (UTC)

Excellent, excellent article.

Joseph Banks Rhine[edit]

I don't understand this example. It seems to suggest that because the experiment focused on "strong telepaths", it achieved better results. If telepathy does not exist, selecting subjects for their telepathic abilities shouldn't influence the outcome? Joepnl (talk) 22:33, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

innovation and patents[edit]

I would speculate, based on what i know of biotechnology, that the claimed role of patents as an aid to innovation, is an example of survivorship bias. We hear, loudly, companies tht make a lot of money from patents, but we don't hear from the failed or never started projects. One can see this clearly in academic research; methods that are not protected (two hybrid, GFP) become popular, because, unprotected by patents, innovation can flourish. however, i don't have any data suitable for wiki pedia, these are just my thoughts. I agree that the Rhine section could be re worked to make clearer.Cinnamon colbert (talk) 15:53, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Charles Barkley[edit]

The former NBA player Charles Barkley is surprisingly insightful on a few issues, and is one of the few celebrities to mention Survivorship Bias (although not by name).

He refers to the fact that the media highlight life stories such as his own, but don't have hour long biographies of the 99% who fail to become NBA players. He then gives the morale that children should stay in school and strive for a likely career.

Survivorship Bias is responsible for the horrible media phrase "follow your dreams" which is promoted by all other celebrities and media spokesmen.

This is disastrous for the 99% who don't become sports starts, don't become rock and roll stars or movie stars, and don't make the Olympic team - not to mention those who make the Olympic team and then fail to win medals. We never will see the Olympic Broadcast feature on all the people who spend most of their life failing to achieve any success.

I'm encouraged to see that this phenomenon is recognized by Wikipedia (and waiting for the "Follow your dreams" people to delete it :) ).


The first sentence of the cats section is contradicted by the second sentence. The entire first paragraph makes no sense at all. -- (talk) 21:33, 19 April 2016 (UTC)


It is "well known" that porpoises (bottle-nose dolphins) rescue drowning swimmers by helpfully pushing them towards the shore. The fate of swimmers pushed (unhelpfully) the other direction is unrecorded.

Some enterprising Wikipedian might attempt to dredge up actual reports or studies of rescues and non-rescues. I lack the time and the inclination. Snezzy (talk) 10:11, 21 April 2017 (UTC)


Would it be worth mentioning that the theory of evolution is a form of survivalship bias? Basically, because some features are favored by evolution those are actually the features that survived on a grand scope. (talk) 01:10, 22 April 2017 (UTC)