Monty Hall's Three Doors for Dummies
AbstractMonty Hall's three doors problem is a well-known "anomaly" in economics. It appears to be an example of a systematic violation of the assumption of subjects' rationality. Many papers have studied the Monty Hall anomaly under different perspectives (i.e. computerizing, learning, grouping, talking, and even teaching how to play it), but the anomaly still survives. The most common explanation for this is that subjects are unable to carry out correctly the Bayesian updating necessary. Our approach is different from all previous attempts to explain and correct the Monty Hall anomaly, inasmuch we developed a more radical "debiasing test". Even if the game remains identical in terms of probabilities and subjects task, we eliminate the necessity for any Bayesian updating, as our new framework does not require subjects to make any probability calculations. Consequently, having eliminated the cause, also the effect should have disappeared. In order to make our results robust, we also run an intermediate treatment. Even though we observe an evident monotonic increase in the switching percentage across the three treatments, as we expected (from 41.5% in the treatment that replicates the standard design, to 45.5% for the intermediate treatment, up to 58% in the new framework), this percentage remains still too low, even though no Bayesian updating is involved. These results drive us to conclude that this anomaly, even if attenuated by design conditions, is not a weak effect, but rather a systematic behavioural regularity. It could be attributed to some psychological underpinnings, such as the status quo bias. We comment on these, and alternative explanations, in our conclusions.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Metodi Matematici - Università di Bari in its series series with number 0012.
Date of creation: Feb 2007
Date of revision: Feb 2007
Learning; Anomaly; Individual decision making;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
- C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-08-05 (All new papers)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Slembeck, Tilman & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2004.
"Do institutions promote rationality?: An experimental study of the three-door anomaly,"
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization,
Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 337-350, July.
- Tilman Slembeck & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2002. "Do Institutions Promote Rationality? An Experimental Study of the Three-Door Anomaly," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2002 2002-21, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
- Ignacio Palacios-Huerta, 2003.
"Learning to Open Monty Hall's Doors,"
Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 235-251, November.
- Erev, Ido & Roth, Alvin E, 1998. "Predicting How People Play Games: Reinforcement Learning in Experimental Games with Unique, Mixed Strategy Equilibria," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 848-81, September.
- Friedman, Daniel, 1998. "Monty Hall's Three Doors: Construction and Deconstruction of a Choice Anomaly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 933-46, September.
- Page, Scott E., 1998. "Let's make a deal," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 175-180, November.
- Daniel Kahneman & Jack L. Knetsch & Richard H. Thaler, 1991. "Anomalies: The Endowment Effect, Loss Aversion, and Status Quo Bias," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 193-206, Winter.
- Selten, Reinhard & Joachim Buchta, 1994. "Experimental Sealed Bid First Price Auctions with Directly Observed Bid Functions," Discussion Paper Serie B 270, University of Bonn, Germany.
- Monty Hall problem in Wikipedia (English)
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ruggiero Marco Paolillo).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.