The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

Chapter 101

What is the message of the Monty Hall Problem described in this chapter? Why does the Monty Hall Problem appeal to Christopher?

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In this chapter, Christopher presents a mathematical problem. He tells of how in a magazine in America there was a column called Ask Marilyn, written by a woman with the highest IQ in the world. In 1990 a question was sent to Marilyn: on a game show program there are three doors. Behind one door there is a car, behind the other two there are goats. You pick one door and another opens, revealing a goat. You are asked whether you want to change your mind about the two unopened doors. Marilyn argues that you should always change your mind and pick the final door as there is a two in three chance that the car will be behind that.

Lots of people wrote in to complain that she was wrong and she explained why she was not. Intuition would say that there is a 50% chance that the car will be behind the original door chosen but logic states that there is a one third chance that it will be behind the original.

This is why Christopher thinks logic is more reliable than intuition for working out problems in life. This problem appeals to Chris because it is about probabilities, it is about logic where emotion gets into the way. Chris thrives on logic.