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Reasoning in the Monty Hall problem: Examining choice behaviour and probability judgements

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This research examined choice behaviour and probability judgement in a counterintuitive reasoning problem called the Monty Hall problem (MHP). In Experiments 1 and 2 we examined whether learning from a simulated card game similar to the MHP affected how people solved the MHP. Results indicated that the experience with the card game affected participants' choice behaviour, in that participants selected to switch in the MHP. However, it did not affect their understanding of the objective probabilities. This suggests that there is dissociation between implicit knowledge gained from the task and the explicit understanding as to why switching was the best strategy. In Experiment 3, the number of prizes and doors were manipulated to examine how participants construed the problem space of the MHP. Results revealed that participants partition the probability judgement to reflect the number of prizes over the number of unopened doors.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: University of Maryland, College Park, USA 2: The College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2002


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