Thursday, December 20, 2007

[TIPS] monkeys vs humans in estimating game

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=17344697&ft=1&f=1013

When both groups were given a test that measured their ability to estimate amounts of, in this case, dots, the monkeys were correct 75% of the time. Their rival group, some Duke University undergrads, scored correctly 90% of the time.

Now, we shouldn’t look at this as a measure of the quality of Duke undergrads. Nor should we look at it as a commentary on humans vs monkeys in general. If the rules were to change to allow the participants time to actually COUNT, then the humans would have obviously outdone the monkeys.

This harkens back to a story I heard tell a long time ago on Johnny Carson, I think. (Ah, he was the Tonight Show host before Jay Leno.) It seems that a study showed that when the monkeys start to count, they only get as high as FOUR - before they break out into a chorus of, “Last Train to Clarksville.” :-D

::ducking and running::

1 comment:

Jim Gates said...

Tonight we had our Tech Dept Xmas party. Someone mentioned my blog so I asked if he had seen the post from today about the monkeys. No, he hadn't. So, I proceeded to tell what I had written about the monkeys and "The Last Train to Clarksville." Only two people in the entire department "got" the reference.

I felt so old... I wanted to just pak up and leave. :-(