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Excellent question!

Expected value is the general notion of the average-case outcome of a random variable. In probability theory, the expected value of a random variable, , is the average of its possible values weighted by their probabilities.

Expected utility is the expected value of a utility function. Since "value" is a synonym for utility, I often use "expected value" and "expected utility" interchangeably, especially when the ethics/EA context is understood.

Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but as I’ve typically framed it, “value” is just a variable (which could be utility, but could just be an input like money that does not directly/linearly translate to utility) whereas utility is directly the well-being.

Take a hyper-dramatic example, simplified for illustration: Suppose you need to have $100 in order to pay for some kind of life-saving medicine, but you only have $50. Suppose however you can place a bet that gives you a 10% chance of doubling your money, and a 90% chance of losing it. The expected value of ... (read more)

Thanks for this. :)