“There’s a part of our brain that’s called the interpreter,” he says. “It’s designed to make sense of what we’ve seen, to give it a narrative. And we always see causes; so if Person A succeeds where Person B fails, we assume that Person A had some skill that Person B didn’t.
“Even when we know it’s random, we can’t help but see the workings of skill.”
This hyperactive pattern-detector is likely to be an evolutionary adaptation, says Kahneman: a false positive will generally be less harmful than a false negative, an imagined lion less of a problem than an unnoticed one.
The whole article is interesting, particularly if you’re a sports fan.