Need an Interactive Map?

If you have a website and want to display statistics or improve navigation you should consider getting an interactive flash map. Options include a flash world map, a flash us map, and a flash canada map. These maps are fully customizable and easy to install. Free trials are available.

Recent Posts

Sponsored Links

Please login to Automatic Backlinks and activate this site.

website uptime

« | Main | »

Selection Bias at the Carnival

By Chris | April 21, 2008

This last weekend my university campus was open to prospective students and their families. Following the spring football game, the university hosted a small carnival with amusement rides and traditional carnival games. I went with a couple friends who satisfied their inner thrill-seeker with a ride on the ferris wheel. However, I was able to convince my friend Laura to accompany me on The Octopus, a traditional ride that I had enjoyed at the small amusement park in my hometown. She hated it, screaming incessantly during the ride and appearing nauseous when it was over. So I asked:

“Why did you agree to ride it if you knew you would hate it so much?”

“I didn’t think it would be so scary. The people on the ride earlier didn’t scream at all, so I figured it wouldn’t be too bad.”

“That’s the mistake of selection bias!” I exclaimed, thrilled at this illustration of statistics. The riders we had been watching earlier were not a random sample of the population. They were much more likely to be the type of person who enjoys being spun around in circles at fast speeds.

On another note, all of the traditional games at the carnival were purchased with tokens. You paid $1 per token, and then paid 1-2 tokens to try your luck at winning a stuffed animal. Behavioral economists note that removing cash from a transaction changes consumer behavior. I couldn’t help but think that it is easier to fork over 2 tokens to play rigged games for cheap prizes than it is to hand over actual cash. Tokens act as a buffer that prevents carnival goers from thinking of the game as one would rationally evaluate an investment. Is a 25% chance at a $2 stuffed bird really worth the price of $2? Tokens may also be used because they limit employee theft and discourage people from thinking at the margin.

For the record, I shot baskets at one of the booths and missed both of my shots.

Topics: Behavioral Economics, Economics | 25 Comments »

25 Responses to “Selection Bias at the Carnival”

  1. Ron Says:
    April 22nd, 2008 at 5:42 pm

    So, you used to be pretty good at the free throws in animal basketball. Maybe the memories made you nervous.


  2. Betina Says:
    June 25th, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    very good, look forward to view your other articles.

  3. best hair dryer for curly hair Says:
    August 25th, 2014 at 3:50 am

    Currently it appears like Movable Type is the best blogging platform out there right now.
    (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using on your blog?

  4. Says:
    October 12th, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    I drop a comment each time I like a post on a website or I have something to valuable to contribute
    to the conversation. Usually it is caused by the sincerness communicated in the
    post I browsed. And on this article Selection Bias at the Carnival |
    I was actually moved enough to drop a commenta response 😉 I
    do have 2 questions for you if you do not mind. Is it only me or do a few of these remarks appear
    as if they are left by brain dead individuals? 😛 And, if you are writing at other online sites,
    I’d like to keep up with anything fresh you have to post.

    Could you list all of your community pages like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

  5. trancheuse Says:
    October 18th, 2015 at 4:07 am

    Thanks for finally writing about > Selection Bias
    at the Carnival |

  6. Lucienne Says:
    October 31st, 2015 at 10:32 am

    It’s actually a cool and useful piece of info.
    I am happy that you just shared this useful info with us. Please keep us up to
    date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  7. machine a barbe a papa Says:
    October 31st, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    If some one desires to be updated with latest technologies afterward he
    must be visit this site and be up to date daily.

  8. Marcus Says:
    November 3rd, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    Hi there, You’ve done a fantastic job. I will definitely
    digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I’m confident they will be benefited from
    this website.

  9. deshumidificateur Says:
    November 5th, 2015 at 11:45 pm

    Very good blog you have here but I was curious about if you knew of any user
    discussion forums that cover the same topics discussed in this article?

    I’d really like to be a part of group where I can get feedback from other experienced individuals that share
    the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let
    me know. Kudos!

  10. idropulitrice Says:
    November 22nd, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    Hello my friend! I want to say that this post is amazing, nice
    written and come with approximately all vital infos.
    I’d like to see more posts like this .

  11. essiccatore Says:
    December 1st, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    Have you ever thought about creating an e-book or guest authoring on other sites?
    I have a blog centered on the same topics you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I
    know my visitors would value your work. If you’re even remotely interested,
    feel free to shoot me an e mail.

  12. Says:
    December 2nd, 2016 at 3:42 am

    Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thanks, However I
    am experiencing problems with your RSS. I don’t know why I cannot join it.
    Is there anybody getting the same RSS issues? Anyone who knows the
    solution will you kindly respond? Thanx!!

  13. scaldasonno prezzo Says:
    December 2nd, 2016 at 3:56 am

    Thanks for a marvelous posting! I certainly enjoyed
    reading it, you can be a great author.I will remember
    to bookmark your blog and will come back at some point.

    I want to encourage you to continue your great writing, have a nice holiday weekend!

  14. saldatrice inverter opinioni Says:
    December 9th, 2016 at 7:27 am

    Excellent website you have here but I was curious about if you knew of any discussion boards that cover the same
    topics discussed here? I’d really love to be a part of community where I can get suggestions from other knowledgeable individuals
    that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me
    know. Bless you!

  15. comparatif scie a chantourner Says:
    December 11th, 2016 at 11:34 pm

    I know this site gives quality dependent posts and additional material,
    is there any other web site which provides such information in quality?

  16. stampante multifunzione prezzo Says:
    December 22nd, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    This is my first time visit at here and i am actually pleassant to read everthing at alone place.

  17. mejor casa de munecas Says:
    December 31st, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    This design is incredible! You certainly know how to keep a reader entertained.
    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start
    my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Excellent
    job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how
    you presented it. Too cool!

  18. grifo de cocina Says:
    January 9th, 2017 at 8:26 pm

    Hi there mates, its enormous article regarding teachingand entirely defined, keep it up all the time.

  19. Jessica Says:
    January 14th, 2017 at 7:47 pm

    I was curious if you ever thought of changing the page layout of your website?
    Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little
    more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.

    Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or two images.
    Maybe you could space it out better?

  20. regolabarba Says:
    January 30th, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    Thankfulness to my father who shared with me on the topic of this website, this web site
    is really amazing.

  21. mejores sacaleches del 2017 Says:
    January 30th, 2017 at 11:58 pm

    It’s really a great and helpful piece of information. I am satisfied that you simply
    shared this helpful information with us.
    Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  22. casse bluetooth Says:
    January 30th, 2017 at 11:58 pm

    What’s up to every one, it’s truly a pleasant for me to pay a
    quick visit this website, it consists of important Information.

  23. Says:
    February 17th, 2017 at 3:15 am

    It’s actually a cool and helpful piece of info.
    I am happy that you simply shared this helpful info with us.
    Please stay us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  24. Linda Says:
    February 17th, 2017 at 6:46 am

    That is a great tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere.

    Short but very precise information… Thank you for sharing
    this one. A must read post!

  25. escoba electrica Says:
    March 31st, 2017 at 7:06 am

    Hmm it seems like your blog ate my first comment
    (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’m
    thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new
    to the whole thing. Do you have any tips and hints for beginner blog writers?
    I’d really appreciate it.