Are we logical?

If I asked you if you were logical, you would probably say yes. But how rational actually are we? According to some studies.. most people are pretty irrational – let’s see how you get on.

Wason Card Selection Test (Wason, 1966)

Each of these cards has a letter on one side and a number on the other. Your task is to decide which of these cards (choosing the minimum number possible) needs to be turned over to find out whether the following rule is true or false.

Rule: If the card has an A on one side, then there is a 4 on the other side.

Here are your cards, have a look and then scroll down for the solution…

wason

The logical way to solve this problem is to try to find a counterexample to the rule – for example an A card which doesn’t have a 4 on the back. Therefore, the only way to test this rule is to turn over the A card. Only 4% of participants tend to choose this option, suggesting that we aren’t very rational! Instead, most people choose to turn over the A and 4 cards, which is an example of confirmation bias – they look to show that the rule IS true, and don’t look for an example of one of the variables without the other.

So how did you get on?!

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