What is the simple definition of base rate?

Suicide Psychology
by SS&SS

Question by redlilly24: What is the simple definition of base rate?
I am studying cognitive psychology and its talking about probability and base rate. I am having a hard time understanding what base rate means. Their base definition is: The relative frequency of some event or outcome in some general population of events.
I need a simpler explanation of this. Thank you!

Best answer:

Answer by senlin
It is how often something normally occurs. So, for example, 11 out of 100,000 people in the U.S. commit suicide. So the base rate for suicide in the U.S. is 11 out of 100,000. It can be any event or characteristic in any specified group. If 10 out of 100 people in your psychology class are chewing gum, then the base rate of gum chewing in your psychology class is 10% (10 out of 100.)

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