I was recently reading this story about an extra credit question on a final exam posed to a class of students:
My instant response was that I would pick two points. 10% is not very much, so that seems like the safest answer to get any points at all. But apparently, only one class in the entire time the professor has been asking the question has gotten the extra credit points.
How many points would you pick and why?
I do the math and take the two points and hope everyone else does too. However:ReplyDelete
The problem with this question is that it forces people to work together. It's like the prisoner's dilemma--and it ends up precisely like that due to human nature, where no one wants to cooperate and everyone is very selfish.
Logical people choose the two points and assume everyone else will too. Selfish people choose the 6 points and hope that there's enough logical people that they get what they want--and usually, there's more selfish people than logical people, especially when there are extra points (or money, or freedom) on the line. And then no one gets anything.
it really doesn't matter what I would pick. it's whatever everyone else would pick.ReplyDelete
personally, I'd probably go the 6 points and roll the dice. if everyone does the self-preservation thing and picks 2, I'm no better off. if more than 10% pick 6 points, I'm no worse off. if less than 10% pick 6 points, then I'm 6 points ahead.
2 points. Bird in the hand.ReplyDelete
2 points. But I would expect to get 0 points.ReplyDelete
Is it graded on a curve? If so then the answer is 6 points. If no one gets any extra credit then it doesn't matter at all your garde will still be the same. If you only take 2 points and up to 10 percent of the class gets 4 more points than you then your grade will suffer.ReplyDelete
If not graded on a curve then you are probably right take the 2
That is a really good pointDelete
I'm assuming it's not graded on a curve, or else the offer doesn't make a lot of sense.Delete
I would actually talk to everyone in the class and tell them to select 2 points only.ReplyDelete
In which case everyone would assume that everyone else is going to go along with your 2 points plan, and figure that they could then get away with secretly selecting 6 points.Delete
And you'd also be assuming that you can talk to the entire class during the test, when you actually see this question. The whole point is that students can't plan together; it's to see what they do when no one else is looking.Delete
I would be strongly tempted to take the two points. But, knowing human nature, and not trusting any of them to act in the interest of their fellow beings, and despairing of hope that people will sacrifice their ambitions for the good of the whole (depending on the people in the class), I think I would mark 'six points' JUST in the hopes of increasing past 10% and making it so nobody gets any points.ReplyDelete
Yes, I would rather troll the people who think they inherently deserve to be in that 10% simply because they mark the 6 point option. :D
Nobody commented yet on what I consider to be the crux of this question. Your choice isn't anonymous to the teacher. 2 points plus priceless brown-noising is the best answer.ReplyDelete
This is just a simple game theory question really. The choice will really depend on what the extra or no marks mean. If it were on a curve you are better off with 6 but if it were absolute grade you should 2 or 6 depending on how well you think you or your classmates will do.ReplyDelete