Ian Ayres asks a question at Freakonomics. Which of the following is the correct answer? 4π, 8π, 16, 16π or 32π square inches?
No, I didn't forget the question. But it's possible to make a reasonable guess by trying to reverse-engineer the question.
(Don't read the comments. They're full of people who didn't get it.)
19 December 2008
Guessing the answer without knowing the question
Posted by Michael Lugo at 6:02 AM
Labels: freakonomics, tests
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I like his reasoning for choosing 4 pi over 16 pi. I didnt see that at all.
That's hilarious, or sad, depending on how you look at it.
I had a post about the same sort of thing back in May.
I'm guessing it has to do with the amount of pizza in an 8" pizza.
I immediately jumped to his question (and answer), but then thought some more. If I were making the test, I wouldn't want this sort of analysis to work. So, is there another question that gives this array of wrong answers (with the right answer buried there)?
How about finding the area of two circles, each with radius 2?
And then there's the zero-knowledge test.
My father used a similar technique for solving chemistry questions based on the gender of the (hypothetical) chemists.
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