“Pick a number between 1 and 10”—There’s been plethora of variations of such a game manifested in ways of magic tricks, simulations, statistics, and for sheer intellectual and nerdy curiosity. But is there an answer? Better yet, is there a pattern? If so, what is it…and how can it be explained?
Some experiments claim to have discovered that most people pick a number between 5 and 8 even though they could pick minimum of 1 and maximum of 10. Apparently, they were done by real humans and with about 8,000 trials.
I created this simulation in Excel (sample snapshot above, actual file is required for real-time updates) but letting the computer pick the numbers. This sample shows up to 1,000 trials. Then I upped it to 10,000 trials.
Interestingly, I didn’t see the pattern quite the same…so, could it be that human psychology or social constructs are at play here? What would you find if you ran this experiment with a handful of real people? What about your own software simulation at various n values?