Philosophy experiment Answered
I came across an experiment in a text on the Philosophy of Science, and I would like to test the results, if I may.
Consider this scenario:
Linda is is 31 years old, single, outspoken and very bright. She majored in philosophy (it's an American text).
As a student, she was deeply concerned with issues of discrimination and social justice, and also participated in anti-war demonstrations.
Given this background, which of these statements do you consider to be the most probable? You do not have to justify your statement (though you may if you wish), simply post the letter of the most probable statement:
a) Linda is a teacher in a primary school.
b) Linda works in a bookshop, and takes Yoga classes.
c) Linda is active in the feminist movement
d) Linda is a psychiatric social worker.
e) Linda is a member of the League of Women Voters
f) Linda is a bank clerk
g) Linda is an insurance salesperson
h) Linda is a bank clerk, and active in the feminist movement.
If you are feeling particularly helpful, you could rank the statements in order of probability (most likely to least likely).
Thank you in advance.
Update: The answers:
There isn't a "right" answer.
The point is that (h) was consistently given a higher average probability than either (c) or (f). There was no statistical difference between the results of a group of undergrads with no training in statistics, students who had taken basic courses in probability as part of their main subject (eg medicine) or even graduates of Stanford Business School who had taken courses in advanced probability and statistics.