September 15, 2014

EP. 47 — Statistics That Prove We’re Wrong About Everything

You’re on the 1970s game show “Let’s Make a Deal,” and you get to pick between 3 doors: behind one is a new car, and behind the other two are gag prizes. After choosing your door, the host shows you one of the doors the car is NOT behind and asks if you’d like to change your pick to the only other remaining door. What do you do?


Common sense would prove that the host removing a door from contention has no effect. You had a 33% chance of winning a car and now you have a 50% chance. But what if we told you, by switching your decision, your chances of winning a car would go up to 66%? You would tell us to take high school statistics over again, but you’d be wrong.


Today on the podcast Jack O’Brien, Dan O’Brien, and Jason Pargin (aka David Wong) discuss some of the more deceiving statistics in our world that prove that common sense is worthless and our brains are horrible at math.



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