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Dave_Orr comments on Initiation Ceremony - Less Wrong

49 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 28 March 2008 08:40PM

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Comment author: Dave_Orr 28 March 2008 11:18:34PM 1 point [-]

Maybe this is a dumb question, but where did 1/6 come from? I mean, when they asked the question I did the math and came up with 2/11, and I don't even see how you might get 1/6.

Comment author: pnrjulius 09 April 2012 05:28:00AM 15 points [-]

The point is that they are giving a wrong answer to confuse you, to see if you really believe in Bayes's Theorem or if instead you will just capitulate to the word of an authority.

Comment author: Snowyowl 17 July 2013 11:57:39AM 2 points [-]

9/16ths of the people present are female Virtuists, and 2/16ths are male Virtuists. If you correctly calculate that 2/(9+2) of Virtuists are male, but mistakenly add 9 and 2 to get 12, you'd get one-sixth as your final answer. There might be other equivalent mistakes, but that seems the most likely to lead to the answer given.

Of course, it's irrelevant what the actual mistake was since the idea was to see if you'll let your biases sway you from the correct answer.