The Weakest Link - A Field Experiment in Rational Decision Making
AbstractWe analyze the BBC TV game show "The Weakest Link", using data from 77 episodes, covering 13,380 questions. We focus on the banking decision, where a contestant chooses to secure an amount of money for the eventual winner, or to risk it on a general knowledge question. In the latter case, should he answer correctly, the amount at stake increases exponentially. We show that banking decisions are not rational: a crude rule of thumb performs substantially better than the contestants’ strategies. Yet, at least to some extent, contestants do take into account their own ability and the fact that questions are progressively more difficult.
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 EconWPA in its series Experimental with number 0203001.
Date of creation: 04 Mar 2002
Date of revision:
Note: Type of Document - pdf; prepared on PC - Scientific Workplace;
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://126.96.36.199
Experimental Economics; TV Game Shows; Bounded Rationality;
Other versions of this item:
- Haan, Marco, 2002. "The weakest link : a field experiment in rational decision making," Research Report 02F20, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
- C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2002-06-13 (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.:
- Haan, M. & Kooreman, P., 2000.
"Free riding and the provision of candy bars,"
00F48, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
- Bennett, Randall W. & Hickman, Kent A., 1993. "Rationality and the 'price is right'," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 99-105, May.
- María Paz Espinosa & Javier Gardeazabal, 2013.
"Do Students Behave Rationally in Multiple Choice Tests? Evidence from a Field Experiment,"
Journal of Economics and Management,
College of Business, Feng Chia University, Taiwan, vol. 9(2), pages 107-135, July.
- M Espinosa & J Gardeazabal, 2007. "Do students behave rationally in multiple-choice tests? Evidence from a field experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00237, The Field Experiments Website.
- Fevrier, Philippe & Linnemer, Laurent, 2006. "Equilibrium selection: Payoff or risk dominance?: The case of the "weakest link"," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 164-181, June.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (EconWPA).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.