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A Commentary on Mel Rutherford's 'On the Use and Misuse of the "Two Children" Brainteaser'

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  • Maya Bar-Hillel

Abstract

Rutherford (2010) criticizes the way some people have analyzed the 2-children problem, claiming (correctly) that slight nuances in the problem's formulation can change the correct answer. However, his own data demonstrate that even when there is a unique correct answer, participants give intuitive answers that differ from it systematically -- replicating the data reported by those he criticizes. Thus, his critique reduces to an admonition to use care in formulating and analyzing this brainteaser -- which is always a good idea -- but contributes little to what is known, analytically or empirically, about the 2-children problem.

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  • Maya Bar-Hillel, 2010. "A Commentary on Mel Rutherford's 'On the Use and Misuse of the "Two Children" Brainteaser'," Discussion Paper Series dp551, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
  • Handle: RePEc:huj:dispap:dp551
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