Three Strange Results in Probability: Cognitive States and the Principle of Indifference (Monty Hall, Flipping Coins, and Factory Boxes)

Probability is known for its power to embarrass our intuitions. In most cases, math and careful observation bear out counterintuitive results. After many such experiences, one’s intuition improves (sometimes perhaps crossing into a kind of overcorrection—see the Optional Endnote for… Continue Reading

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Two-Child Problem (when one is a girl named Florida born on a Tuesday)

A classic probability riddle goes: A couple has two children, one of whom is a girl. What is the probability both children are girls? It’s usually credited to Martin Gardner who, in a 1959 issue of Scientific American, posed essentially this… Continue Reading

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