Talk:Monty Hall problem

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The little green woman is missing![edit]

We currently have in the article, 'The behavior of the host is key to the 2/3 solution' but not much else to explain this important point. At one time we had vos Savant's comments on the subject and her little green woman example but they seem to have gone missing.

What, in the opinion of editors here, is the best way of explaining that it is only if the host knows where the car is (or always reveals a goat) that it is advantageous to switch. This is one of the most surprising (to most people) features of the paradox. 16:23, 17 October 2014 (UTC)— Preceding unsigned comment added by Martin Hogbin (talkcontribs)

So "most people" mean I choose door 1. Then I open door 3. If there is a goat behind it, I now have a 2/3 chance with door 2.?--Albtal (talk) 18:41, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Most people mean I choose door 1. The host opens door 3. There is a goat behind it. The distinction being made here is that the probability of the car being behind door 2 is 2/3 only if the host MUST open a door AND the host knows before he opens it that there is a goat behind it (AND the host effectively flips a coin to decide which door to open if the car is behind the initially chosen door, door 1 in this case). If the host opens door 3 without knowing where the car is AND (luckily for the host) it happens to reveal a goat, there is no advantage to switching. This is the "Monty Forgets" or "Monty Falls" variant, discussed by Rosenthal in 2005 (reference in the article) and by vos Savant in 2007 [1]. Note that her little green woman example addresses a slightly different point, which is that the odds of winning by switching knowing the set up are different from the (50/50) odds of randomly picking one of door 1 or door 2 after the host has opened door 3 (in fact, regardless of whether the host knew what was behind door 3 before he opened it). IMO, the clearest way to explain these subtly different problems is with the language and machinery of conditional probability. -- Rick Block (talk) 21:24, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
But this is not at all an answer to the question which I directed to "16:23, 17 October 2014 (UTC)".--Albtal (talk) 09:23, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Do you think we should not include the 'little green woman' example then? Martin Hogbin (talk) 22:53, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Oh, the original poster was you? OK then. I'm outta here. -- Rick Block (talk) 04:59, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
That is not very nice and very much against the spirit of WP. It would seem that you are only willing work with others and contribute to this article if you can have it all your way. Over its history there has been a clear majority of users who prefer to organise the article in that same way that I do and this was confirmed by an RfC. Within that consensus structure, I do not see why editors with differing opinions on the subject of conditional probability should not work together.
Having re-read the 'little green woman' example I think it actually not all that clear exactly what point vS was making so I agree that it is best left out. The 'Monty Forgets' variant should, in my opinion be mentioned earlier. Martin Hogbin (talk) 07:51, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
No Martin. It's much more personal than you are making it out to be. I'm perfectly happy to work with anyone on this article, however it's structured, except you. -- Rick Block (talk) 14:32, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
I do not know why that should be, we have unreconcilable differences concerning the MHP but I have no personal animosity towards you. I was not responsible for the sanctions against you during the Arbcom case. Martin Hogbin (talk) 18:35, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Did I remotely imply I thought you were? You seem to imagine that I think things that I generally don't. And, quite possibly, vice versa. For example, I think you're bringing up arbcom here to discredit me in this conversation (see poisoning the well). You (of course) didn't bring up that I'm an administrator of fairly long standing, or that this article was (once upon a time) a featured article largely due to my efforts and is no longer arguably largely due to your efforts. Suffice it to say I think it's best if I simply do not engage with you (period). I suggest if you want to pursue this further we take it elsewhere. -- Rick Block (talk) 00:04, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I do not want to pursue this at all, I was just rather puzzled by your rather personal remarks and wondered what had prompted them. I had no intention whatsoever of trying to discredit you in any way and I apologise if I gave that impression.
On thing for sure is that the reason that this article no longer a featured article is not because of the agreed structure. More likely it was because of the very long period of argument in which all editors lost sight of the purpose of the article.
Now we have an agreed structure, there should be no need for argument about what goes where and it should be possible for everyone to work together to improve it and regain its former FA status. All points of view on the subject should be properly represented and discussed within the article provided that we stick to the principle of having the simple stuff first. Martin Hogbin (talk) 07:42, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Very simple explanation[edit]

Actually, the paradox can be explained with a very short and quick-to-grasp phrase. I think it is beneficial to put a variant of this phrase somewhere close to the beginning of this article. The phrase is this: "If you retain your choice, then you win if you have picked the right door in the beginning, and you lose if you have picked a wrong door back then. If you switch your choice, then you win if you have picked a wrong door in the beginning (since both wrong doors have been eliminated in the process), and you lose if you have picked the right door back then". - 89.110.0.42 (talk) 16:28, 5 November 2014 (UTC)

Are discretionary sanctions here still needed?[edit]

An uninvolved editor has asked the Arbitration Committee to review whether the discretionary sanctions are still required in this topic area, and to repeal them if they are not. If you have any opinions on this matter, please comment at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Clarification and Amendment#Amendment request: Ayn Rand, Monty Hall problem, Longevity, Cold fusion 2, Tree shaping, Gibraltar. Thanks, Thryduulf (talk) 11:58, 14 November 2014 (UTC)

I do not think that discretionary sanctions are in any way helpful to the improvement of this article. Martin Hogbin (talk) 14:08, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

Other host behaviors[edit]

I believe the “four-stage two-player game-theoretic” version near the bottom of the table is just a more formal description of the original version. Perhaps it should be merged with the top row. DES (talk) 12:25, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

The original version is not necessarily to be construed as a two person game. The host need not be thought of as a player who can win or lose, and hence would have no strategy for winning. See the reference Seymann, R. G. (1991), which says that in vos Savant's treatment of the problem it is quite clear that "the host is to be viewed as nothing more than an agent of chance". ~ Ningauble (talk) 14:07, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Thank you, I hadn't considered that. DES (talk) 17:32, 23 November 2014 (UTC)