Jan 28, 2008

what are the chances?

Chances are, you're bad at probability. Don't fret too much, though--comes with being human. Your emotion overrides your calculation*, and you tend to be very bad at probability quizzes. Try this one:
1. What's more common in the United States, (a) suicide or (b) homicide?
2. What's the more frequent cause of death in the United States, (a) pool drowning or (b) falling out of bed?
3. What are the top five causes of accidental death in America, following motor-vehicle accidents, and which is the biggest one?
4. Of the top two causes of nonaccidental death in America, (a) cancer and (b) heart disease, which kills more women?
5. What are the next three causes of nonaccidental death in the United States?
6. Which has killed more Americans, bird flu or mad cow disease?
7. How many Americans die from AIDS every year, (a) 12,995, (b) 129,950, or (c) 1,299,500?
8. How many Americans die from diabetes every year? (a) 72,820, (b) 728,200, or (c) 7,282,000?
9. Which kills more Americans, (a) appendicitis or (b) salmonella?
10. Which kills more Americans, (a) pregnancy and childbirth or (b) malnutrition?
Answers found at the bottom of the linked page, which goes into great depth explaining just how bad at probability you probably are.

Don't bet on sports.

[via Joe Carter]

*I don't say "reason," because Spock-like, emotionless reason is humanly impossible, as Antonio Damasio's work shows.


coturnix said...

Hey, I got 8 out of 10. Did not know the two open-ended questions....

Jim Anderson said...

I won't say my score. Wouldn't want to embarrass anyone, least of all myself.

Michael said...

I thought I was good at probability, but I only got 3 right.

But in addition to those three, I got two of the five answers on number 3 (stairs, fire). And for the other three, once I read them, they made sense. It would have helped to have gotten a list.

And I got number six correct! It looks hard.