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Learning psychology from riddles: The case of stumpers

Maya Bar-Hillel, Tom Noah and Shane Frederick

Discussion Paper Series from The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem

Abstract: Riddles can teach us psychology when we stop to consider the psychological principles that make them “work”. This paper studies a particular class of riddles that we call stumpers, and provides analysis of the various principles (some familiar, some novel) that inhibit most people from finding the correct solution – or any solution – even though they find the answers obvious ex post. We restrict our analysis to four stumpers, propose the psychological antecedents of each, and provide experimental support for our conjectures

Pages: 12 pages
Date: 2018-02
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (4) Track citations by RSS feed

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