2003-11-24

The Full Monty (Hall Problem)

It is very easy to get the wrong answer to The Monty Hall Problem. I'll quote an excerpt of the above referenced page at MathWorld without spoilers so you can have the fun of trying to spot the error as you follow along:

The Monty Hall problem is named for its similarity to the Let's Make a Deal television game show hosted by Monty Hall. The problem is stated as follows. Assume that a room is equipped with three doors. Behind two are goats, and behind the third is a shiny new car. You are asked to pick a door, and will win whatever is behind it. Let's say you pick door 1. Before the door is opened, however, someone who knows what's behind the doors (Monty Hall) opens one of the other two doors, revealing a goat, and asks you if you wish to change your selection to the third door (i.e., the door which neither you picked nor he opened). The Monty Hall problem is deciding whether you do.

Here is my exploration of why it is so easy to get wrong.