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Category: Science
Date: 11/26/11 02:05 PM

42 Responses to The Monty Hall Paradox Investigated By Mythbusters

  1. Profile photo of kitteh9lives
    kitteh9lives Female 70 & Over
    8033 posts
    November 26, 2011 at 9:38 am
    Link: The Monty Hall Paradox Investigated By Mythbusters - Would you `stick` or `switch`?
  2. Profile photo of skytz1337
    skytz1337 Male 18-29
    687 posts
    November 26, 2011 at 2:17 pm
    i`ve done the math when i saw the movie "21"
    there is a scene in there about this thing...so i already knew the answer
  3. Profile photo of malikymoo
    malikymoo Female 18-29
    2029 posts
    November 26, 2011 at 2:17 pm
    ooho derren brown does this
  4. Profile photo of DuckBoy87
    DuckBoy87 Male 18-29
    3150 posts
    November 26, 2011 at 2:23 pm
    Very interesting. I that this myth was confirmed before even watching the video. It`s simple mathematics that they showed at the end.
  5. Profile photo of M_Archer
    M_Archer Male 18-29
    525 posts
    November 26, 2011 at 3:28 pm
    It`s not really a paradox...

    Mythbusters is running out of ideas. There are many proofs for this problem, some more mathematically rigorous than others, but there IS a 2/3 chance of winning if you switch.

    Do they seriously get paid for this? I watch Mythbusters to watch them test myths I can`t test myself. I had a skeptical friend we performed this--about two out of the three times he switched, he won.
  6. Profile photo of hatface
    hatface Male 18-29
    605 posts
    November 26, 2011 at 3:35 pm
    Thats not a paradox, is it? I think it`s just more of a `problem`.
  7. Profile photo of DixxyRarr
    DixxyRarr Female 18-29
    2674 posts
    November 26, 2011 at 3:42 pm
    Very cool. My family was discussing this over the holiday this week... it basically melts my brain, except my brother explained it like this:
    Say you have 300 doors, same scenario. Pick 1, and then Monty eliminates 298 doors... would you stay or switch doors?
  8. Profile photo of LillianDulci
    LillianDulci Female 18-29
    2674 posts
    November 26, 2011 at 4:21 pm
    DixxyRarr I never thought of it like that. It makes a lot more sense now. :3
  9. Profile photo of Lameworld
    Lameworld Male 18-29
    51 posts
    November 26, 2011 at 4:32 pm
    @M_Archer They get paid to make science and mathematics fun and interesting to the majority of their viewers, no one is better at breaking down a situation to the most basic description and presenting it in a entertaining way then the Mythbusters
  10. Profile photo of Zieveraar
    Zieveraar Male 30-39
    415 posts
    November 26, 2011 at 4:47 pm
    Seems rather odd maths though, if a door is not the right one, two are left, it`s odd to still consider the door that is the wrong one in the equation imo.

    But I guess the practical test can prove it better than the math can explain it.
  11. Profile photo of Gerry1of1
    Gerry1of1 Male 50-59
    36217 posts
    November 26, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    "Picked a door, now do you switch?"

    Before I hear their answer, I will say YES, switch.
    When you originally picked Door #1 it had a 1 in 3 chance of winning. You iliminate Door #2 so Door #3 has a 2/3rds chance of winning. By switching you have increased your odds of winning. I think there is an actual mathmatical formula out there that proves this.

    Now I`ll watch the rest to see if I`m right.

    :-) I would have made a killing!
    I am a wealth of useless knowledge.
  12. Profile photo of biogeek
    biogeek Female 30-39
    57 posts
    November 26, 2011 at 5:27 pm
    yay! Science!
  13. Profile photo of bordo
    bordo Male 50-59
    907 posts
    November 26, 2011 at 5:30 pm
    This is not a random situation. Two of the possibilities you started with have already been eliminated, the one where you picked the right door in the first place and the one where you picked a wrong door and Monty shows you the right one. That`s why switching is statistically the better choice.
  14. Profile photo of CrakrJak
    CrakrJak Male 40-49
    17515 posts
    November 26, 2011 at 5:47 pm
    It`s simple statistics, the winning door was randomly decided before you got to choose, and that percentage was 33.33%. What switching does is sort of like a time warp, allowing you to pick at the percentage of 66.66%.

    Now that all goes to heck if the winning door is randomized a second time, but as long as it`s only done once, at the beginning of the game, you`re always better off switching.
  15. Profile photo of yumyum1
    yumyum1 Male 18-29
    129 posts
    November 26, 2011 at 7:42 pm
    Check this out on Numb3rs. I think its better explained here in smaller amount of time

    Numb3Rs Youtube link
  16. Profile photo of Gerry1of1
    Gerry1of1 Male 50-59
    36217 posts
    November 26, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    Now explain why it is, not matter which check-out line you get in at WalMart, it is the slowest moving one.

    THAT`s a mind-bender!
  17. Profile photo of spultra13
    spultra13 Male 18-29
    174 posts
    November 26, 2011 at 9:07 pm
    Yo guys, it`s not a paradox. It can be proven mathematically, if you know graduate level probability.
  18. Profile photo of thelonious
    thelonious Male 40-49
    3278 posts
    November 26, 2011 at 9:12 pm
    Look at it this way, Monty is helping you to eliminate wrong doors. It is not even close to a paradox. If you are a programmer just think through how you could simulate this. Once you`ve got the code in your head or otherwise, it becomes clear. Paradox? WTF
  19. Profile photo of spultra13
    spultra13 Male 18-29
    174 posts
    November 26, 2011 at 9:13 pm
    Twice the misuse the word "paradox". It`s really just a tricky question.
  20. Profile photo of PacoP42
    PacoP42 Male 13-17
    1064 posts
    November 26, 2011 at 10:16 pm
    guys, they are using the word paradox as in the fact that "switching gives you better odds" seems absurd but is true.
  21. Profile photo of thelonious
    thelonious Male 40-49
    3278 posts
    November 26, 2011 at 10:22 pm
    Like the "beach ball paradox". If you take an inflated beach ball deep enough into the ocean, it suddenly becomes non-buoyant. It`s a flucking paradox.
  22. Profile photo of mervviscious
    mervviscious Male 40-49
    1794 posts
    November 26, 2011 at 10:22 pm
    they couldn`t bust a myth because they suck...
  23. Profile photo of thelonious
    thelonious Male 40-49
    3278 posts
    November 26, 2011 at 11:11 pm
    No. They suck BECAUSE they could not bust a myth. Like Zeus. Please try to keep up.
  24. Profile photo of john_dies
    john_dies Male 18-29
    60 posts
    November 27, 2011 at 2:31 am
    I love it when the Mythbusters dabble in phenomenology.
  25. Profile photo of marcus2
    marcus2 Male 13-17
    677 posts
    November 27, 2011 at 5:38 am
    @thelonious
    I don`t think you know what a paradox is. The beach ball loses bouyancy because of the pressure/weight of the water pushing down on it.
  26. Profile photo of JoeYC
    JoeYC Male 18-29
    721 posts
    November 27, 2011 at 7:16 am
    thelonious - owned by a teenager! lol!

  27. Profile photo of SmagBoy1
    SmagBoy1 Male 40-49
    4432 posts
    November 27, 2011 at 8:19 am
    To those of you saying this isn`t a paradox, why are you saying that? A paradox is defined as, "A seemingly contradictory statement that may nonetheless be true (e.g. The paradox that standing is more tiring than walking)."

    So, the paradox here, quite obviously (and even stated no less than three times in the video), is that even though it *seems* like sticking with your original choice is no more or less mathematically/statistically beneficial, in fact, switching gives you a 33% increased chance of being correct. That, right there, is a paradox.

    So, even though looking at two unopened doors *seems* like a 50/50 proposition, it is, given the set-up, actually a 33.33/66.66 proposition, in favor of switching. It`s *seemingly* contradictory to think that switching helps you, but, in fact, it`s true that switching helps. Paradox.
  28. Profile photo of BlankTom
    BlankTom Male 30-39
    1674 posts
    November 27, 2011 at 8:37 am


    A Pair of Ducks
  29. Profile photo of BlankTom
    BlankTom Male 30-39
    1674 posts
    November 27, 2011 at 8:39 am
    even better...


    A Pair of Docs
  30. Profile photo of MrPeabody
    MrPeabody Male 30-39
    1920 posts
    November 27, 2011 at 10:35 am
    A pair of Docks

  31. Profile photo of randomxnp
    randomxnp Male 30-39
    1293 posts
    November 27, 2011 at 10:41 am
    It`s not a myth. it`s an easily proved mathematical fact.

    If it is pointed out that to win by switching you have to pick incorrectly initially, whereas to win by sticking you have to pick correctly initially it becomes obvious that the switcher will win 2/3 but the sticker will only win 1/3.
  32. Profile photo of thelonious
    thelonious Male 40-49
    3278 posts
    November 27, 2011 at 1:02 pm
    @marcus2
    No, the beach ball explodes from the pressure releasing all the air. Do you really believe what you wrote?

    I was pointing out that both the beach ball and this Monty issue are easily explained phenomenon and not paradoxes. So, thanks for playing.
  33. Profile photo of thelonious
    thelonious Male 40-49
    3278 posts
    November 27, 2011 at 1:03 pm
    JoeYC - LOL
  34. Profile photo of thelonious
    thelonious Male 40-49
    3278 posts
    November 27, 2011 at 1:20 pm
    SmagBoy1

    To me, it SEEMS like if you are a switcher, meaning you will switch doors, you want your first pick to be an empty door. That will guarantee you a win. You have 2/3 chance of picking an empty door on your first pick. Therefore, a better chance than picking a prize the first time.

    So where`s the paradox?
  35. Profile photo of uatme
    uatme Male 18-29
    1068 posts
    November 27, 2011 at 6:34 pm
    Where is the paradox?
  36. Profile photo of SarahofBorg
    SarahofBorg Female 18-29
    3564 posts
    November 27, 2011 at 7:35 pm
    I`ll never understand why this is true. It makes no damn sense.
  37. Profile photo of davymid
    davymid Male 30-39
    12151 posts
    November 27, 2011 at 8:29 pm
    Sarah, think of it this way, it might help. As Dixxy alluded to earlier, say there are 1000 doors. The chances of you picking one at random as being the right door are tiny (0.1%), so let`s assume you pick the wrong door.

    Monty then has 999 doors left to open for you, and he has to open doors that do not contain the prize. So he opens the 998 wrong doors for you, leaving the one that contains the prize, and your door. The fact that he opened those other doors doesn`t change the fact that you had a 0.1% chance of picking the right door in the beginning - the conditions haven`t changed.

    So, if there are 1000 doors, sticking will win you the prize 0.1% of the time, while switching will win you the prize 99.9% of the time.

    Boiling it down to 3 doors is the simplest form of the puzzle where it still works, but the odds are 33% vs 67% rather than 0.1% vs 99.9%. Either way, you should always switch.

    Clear as mud?
  38. Profile photo of patchgrabber
    patchgrabber Male 30-39
    5812 posts
    November 28, 2011 at 7:05 am
    I think it`s called the Monty Hall PROBLEM, not paradox, and it`s simple probability.
  39. Profile photo of Psycholady33
    Psycholady33 Female 18-29
    61 posts
    November 28, 2011 at 9:22 am
    Here`s another way to think of it:

    Let`s name the possible outcomes "Win", "Fail 1" and "Fail 2"

    If you had chosen door with "Fail 1", Host will open "Fail 2" door. You switch and you get "Win".

    If you had chosen door with "Fail 2", Host will open "Fail 1" door. You switch and you get "Win".

    If you had chosen door with "Win", Host will open "Fail 1" or "Fail 2" door. You switch and you get another "Fail".

    You win 2 out of 3 times if you switch.
  40. Profile photo of davymid
    davymid Male 30-39
    12151 posts
    November 28, 2011 at 9:34 pm
    Psycholady did a better job than I did of explaining it. You should be a teacher!
  41. Profile photo of Zagger
    Zagger Male 30-39
    108 posts
    November 29, 2011 at 8:40 am
    I think the easiest way to understand it is like this:

    First you take the game host out of the equation. Then you imaging you have 10 doors.
    You then have the choice of opening 1 door or 9 doors.

    Set up like this it`s quite obvious that you have the best chances of winning if you open 9 doors instead of 1.

    The thing that confuses people, I think, is that it`s someone else opening the doors for you.

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