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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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    1. Goldstein, Robin & Almenberg, Johan & Dreber, Anna & Emerson, John W. & Herschkowitsch, Alexis & Katz, Jacob, 2008. "Do More Expensive Wines Taste Better? Evidence from a Large Sample of Blind Tastings," Journal of Wine Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(01), pages 1-9, March.
    2. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1991. "Loss Aversion in Riskless Choice: A Reference-Dependent Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, pages 1039-1061.
    3. Levin, Irwin P & Gaeth, Gary J, 1988. " How Consumers Are Affected by the Framing of Attribute Information before and after Consuming the Product," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, pages 374-378.
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