Research Methods Lab Handout

Research Methods Lab Handout - Research Methods The Monty...

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Research Methods: The Monty Hall Problem The purpose of this lab is to use an experiment to help answer a question. The lab centers on the Monty Hall problem, which is actually an old problem in a new guise. The problem appeared a few years ago in the "Ask Marilyn" column of Parade Magazine , a column by Marilyn vos Savant, who claims to have the "world's highest IQ." The solution given to the problem generated considerable controversy, and vos Savant noted that she received thousands of letters, some from Ph.D.'s in mathematics, insisting that she was wrong. The problem has since received attention in articles in several newspapers, magazines and journals. The problem is basically a scenario from the game show, Let's Make a Deal , which was hosted by Monty Hall. Participants on the show were offered a prize behind one of three curtains. Behind one of the curtains was a valuable prize and behind the other two were junk prizes. The contestants chose one curtain; before it was opened, Monty Hall would open another curtain that was hiding a junk prize. He would then give the contestant the opportunity to change their pick. The question is, "Are you better off staying, switching, or doesn't it matter?" What do you think? Should the contestant stay, switch, or doesn't it matter? Rather than simply being told the solution to the problem, which many people refuse to believe anyway, we will perform a simple "experiment" with cards, as was suggested by vos Savant in her column. In one condition, we will simulate staying, that is, not changing the curtain picked. In the other condition, we will simulate switching, that is, changing the curtain picked; thus, the Monty Hall problem. The next step is to design the experiment.
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This note was uploaded on 05/06/2008 for the course PSYCH 101 taught by Professor Cloonan during the Spring '08 term at Fordham.

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Research Methods Lab Handout - Research Methods The Monty...

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