Test Rock-Paper-Scissors science. Here are the instructions:
Play Rock-Paper-Scissors under two conditions:
- One person blindfolded
- Both people blindfolded
Record the number of ties versus decisions (wins or losses) under each condition.
We recommend a minimum of ten games under each condition. Did the numbers differ?
The statistics say that Rock-Paper-Scissors matches should produce a tie 33% of the time. But in a regular game of Rock Paper Scissors, where you can see your opponent, the number of ties is significantly higher than 33%. How come? Could the players be subconsciously copying one another’s choices?
Scientists wanted to find out. So they tried combinations in which one or both of the players were blindfolded to see if it made a difference. That’s what we did, too. First, we blindfolded just one player (so that the other player could still see and potentially copy) and recorded the number of wins (decisions) vs. the number of ties (draws). Then we repeated the experiment with both players blindfolded.
Based on a month of gathering experimental data here at the Science Centre, the average number of draws was 36% when both players were blindfolded but rose to 40% when one person was blindfolded. Our findings follow a trend similar to that of the scientific study, supporting their observation that Rock-Paper-Scissors players unconsciously copy one another. How did your results stack up? Try the experiment a few times and see if a pattern in the results starts to emerge.
As of Wednesday, July 11, 2012, 209 visitors contributed to our study.