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[icon] Explaining "pick a number" - Patti
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Subject:Explaining "pick a number"
Time:12:08 am
A while ago, I asked people to pick a number with a promise to explain later. It goes like this.

I was trying to pick one of four books to take with me to the doctor's office, and asked one of my coworkers to pick a number 1-4. He chose three, and I told him that was the most likely answer for him to give. He asked why, and I explained that people tended to pick numbers centered around 3/4 of the range, with a secondary cluster around 1/4 of the range.

So I posted a poll to "prove" it. Even knowing that my friends were more likely than average to be aware of this, and/or to randomize, I predicted that both the mean and the median would be above 5.5.

The mean was 5.97, and the median was 7. Y'all are surprisingly typical, I think.
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adb_foldem
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-12-29 11:05 am (UTC)
I used to do the "pick from 1 to 4" as a parlor trick with the 3 written in advance.
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gunga_galunga
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-12-29 11:50 pm (UTC)
You're old enough that you had parlors?

;-)
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jpmassar
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-12-29 04:39 pm (UTC)
We may be typical, but not necessarily in the way you are suggesting.

Comparing the uniform distribution against the sample distribution using a
Kolmogorov-Smirnov Test for Two Populations (see Wikipedia also) results in

No real evidence against the null hypothesis

meaning that the two distributions are not clearly distinct.


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ronsrants
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-12-29 05:58 pm (UTC)
"I picked 5 because it is right in the middle, balanced evenly between 1 and 10"

Great. So now I'm the weirdo.

-R
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prock
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-12-29 06:39 pm (UTC)
Can we get error bars?
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abostick59
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-12-29 09:13 pm (UTC)
Error bars are where we go to pick up casual sex partners who are utterly unsuitable for us.
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sfogarty
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-12-29 09:53 pm (UTC)
Histogram! Histogram!
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whipartist
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-12-29 10:00 pm (UTC)
Click through on the poll. There's a histogram of the results.
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[icon] Explaining "pick a number" - Patti
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