Are you a rational consumer?

Willaim Thurber - PhD Student thurber at FMGMT.MGMT.UTORONTO.CA
Thu Sep 7 17:34:22 MDT 1995

OK folks here we go.  All you who think that you make rational judgements
all the time step right up.  I have pulled these questions from the ranks
of the academic literature including some cites I doubt Dr. DJ has seen so
I invite him to play too should he desire.  PLAY is the operative word
this 'test' is more parlor game than personality test, although all these
have worked in the aggregate, individual responses may not vary.  I'll
post explanations in a few days if anybody cares.
Last word, I am a highly skilled professional, please do not try this at home
with your spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend, dog, cat or  other
companion, I will not take responsibility...    [I am a liberal, did you
seriously expect me to take responsibility?  If so don't bother with
the rest of this -- you can fail now! ] :)    ...for damage to your personal
relationships caused when you label any of these irrational.
No going back and changing answers.
No discussions or group work. (see caveat about playing this with your loved
Work quickly, the idea is to make choices like you would everyday.
No calculators (including small children if available)
Have fun.
Question 1
Choose between:
a) $2500 with probability .33
   $2400 with prob        .66
   $0    with prob        .01
b) $2400 with probability 1.00 (certainty)
Question 2
Choose between
a) -$400 with probability 1.00 (certain)
b) -$80,000 with probability .00001
Question 3
About 600 people die each year from traffic accidents in New York State,
You are given that option 1 is a highway safety programs that will result
in 570 casulties per year and costs $12 million or a program that will
result in 500 deaths per year.  What is the least amount of money that
you can spend on program a) so that you will choose program a):
a) 500 deaths per year, but costs $?? million
b) 570 deaths per year, but costs $12 million
Question 4
Which is more likely, when you roll 6 dice and get a HHHHHH or HHTHTT?
Question 5
Linda is 31 years old, single, outspoken and very bright.  She attended
university and majored in women's history and philosophy.  As a student
she was deeply concerned with the issues of discrimination and social
justice and also participated in anti-nuclear demonstrations.  Based upon
this information which of the following is more probable?
a) Linda is a bank teller
b) Linda is a bank teller and active in the feminist movement
Questions 6, 7, 8, 9
You are involved in a contest in which winners receive a vacation package
and cash payment.  Indicate your preference among the following sets of
alternatives.  The vacation portion includes airfare to the resort and
all meals.
Choose between the following prize packages in a contest
6a) 3 Days, $1600
6b) 10 Days, $700
7a) 3 days, $600
b)  5 Days, $300
8a) 5 days, $1000
8b) 10 days, $400
9a) 4 days, $720
9b) 8 days, $250
Question 10
For each of the alternatives in the contest question please state the
smallest amount of cash you would accept in place of the prize.
In addition, next to each prize alternative rank each prize on a scale of
0-100 where 0 is 0 days, $0 dollars and 100 is 10 days and $2000.
a) if not 3 days, $1600 then:    $_______       Rank:   /100
b) if not  10 days, $700 then:   $_______       Rank:   /100
c) if not 3 days $600 then:     $______         Rank:   /100
d  if not 5 days, $300 then:    $_______        Rank:   /100
e) if not 5 days, $1000 then:    $______        Rank:   /100
f) if not 10 days, $400 then:   $______         Rank:   /100
g)if not 4 days, $720 then:     $______         Rank:   /100
h) if not 8 days, $250 then     $______         Rank    /100
Question 11
Choose between:
a) $2500 with probability .33
   $   0 with prob        .67
b)  $2400 with probability .34
    $   0 with prob        .66
Question 12
House fire and flood insurance costs $400,  the chance of lossing your
$80,000 home to either fire or flood is 1 in 100,000.  Do you buy insurance?
Question 13
About 600 people die each year in your hospital.  Choose between two
hygiene plans that will reduce this number.
a) will save 30 lives but cost $12 million
b) will save 100 lives but cost $55 million
Question 14
A single die has been thrown 8 times in a row each time coming up heads,
what is the probability of heads on the next roll?
Question 15
Given a 100 people that match Linda's description in Q5 how many are bank
tellers and how many are bank teller/feminists?
___ Bank Tellers
___ Bank Tellers and Feminists
Question 16
How much would you pay for the following items:
a wool suit?
a nice pair of pants?
a dress shirt/blouse?
an Italian Silk suit?
a Harris Tweed Jacket?
a Rush tie?
a poly/wool blend suit?
a Bill Blass Suit?
a silk suit?
a business shirt/blouse?
Question 17
Dole or Clinton?
Just kidding, but if you have survived this silly thing up to now you
deserve a laugh.  Send me your answers, remember no going
back and changing answers. You are on on the cyber space honour
code.  I will reply in the method you choose private or public.  But remember
being rational is not always good, it implies that you are always predictable
and therefore boring if not easy targets for marketers and others.
Hope you had fun

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