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Critical Thinking Questions – The Thought Process Behind Answering the Questions (Part 01)

Mind Trap is an awesome game that truly challenges you to think critically. It involves a lot of questions that, rather than being basic, make you think outside the box and come up with answers and solutions. Some of the questions may seem like they are obvious, only to lead you down the wrong path due to something you forgot about or missed. Because I love the game so much and I also think it is important for people to learn to use critical thinking skills (as they help even outside of games, in areas like relationships and life in general), I am going to be running an ongoing evaluation of questions, my thought process behind answering them and what the real answer is. Each question will be separated in such a way that you can read the question and come up with your own answer, then look at my own thought process and let it affect your own view (or not), followed by seeing what the real answer is. This should give a great way to really stress your mind and have some fun while you are at it! So let us begin!

Question 1: Rope Break

Question: Under what conditions would a rope be most likely to break?

  • 20 men of equal strength with 10 pulling on each end
  • 10 of the same men pulling on one end and the other end being fastened to a tree
  • It makes no difference

Thought Process

My thought on this one is that it should make no difference. If the 10 men are of the same strength in both situations, we are dealing with a force that is equal in both. If 10 men are on both sides, the force going in each direction will be equal. Conversely, assuming that the tree does not break, it would be holding the same force as the 10 men. Now, we could account for the fact that the people are going in different directions, but I do not think that really matters here. In essence, the forces, while they are going apart from each other, should be the same.

Answer

The answer here is c (the same as I chose). If 20 men pull on the rope with 10 on each end, the stress on the rope will be no greater than if 10 men pulled from one end and the other end was tied to a tree. The tension on a rope is no greater than the pull at one of its ends.

Question 2: House Odds

Question: Even though the odds are always in favor of the gambling house, the establishments usually have a house limit on stakes. Why is this?

Thought Process

I am fairly certain I already know this one, which is that we deal with variance. Even if you have a 99% chance of getting something, there will be times where you will not get it multiple times in a row. At the same time, someone could win a lot of money multiple times in a row in the casino and put them down in to the negatives temporarily. The mathematics and statistics show that they will always bounce back, but the house limit helps cut down on the variance. Imagine a whale that comes in, wins millions of dollars and immediately leaves.

Answer

Every casino in the world would go bankrupt without a house limit on stakes. Without it, gamblers would keep doubling their stakes until they win. No matter how bad a losing streak they were on, they would eventually win.

Author note: I completely disagree with this. We call this the “martingale” method, and the only way it would truly work is with unlimited money. Being that nobody has an unlimited amount of money, it simply does not work. It may work short term, but at some point it is going to fail. You can see this in action by writing a script that runs until it hits a zero balance while using this method. It will always happen eventually. Some casinos now use antes as well (money that goes straight to them, regardless as to how the game turns out), which appears to be to help curb this as well.

Question 3: Natives and Visitors

Question: Shadow was vacationing on the Isle of Bergile. This is an island where the natives always lie and the visitors always tell the truth. Shadow was walking through a mall when Bill, Frank and Joe approached him. Joe said, “All of us are natives.” Frank said, “Only one of us is a visitor.” Who is a native and who is a visitor? Explain.

Thought Process

Okay, the first thing we need to do is remember that the natives always lie and visitors are always honest. From here, we can look at the two statements being made:

  • Joe claims that all of them are natives. If all of them were, this would mean that he was telling the truth and could not be one. In other words, since it contradicts itself we know that not all of them are natives. At least one of them has to be a visitor
  • Frank claims that only one person is a visitor. If he were a native, this could not be true. If he truly were a visitor, it would be true. Since we know that Joe is clearly lying, Frank must be telling the truth
  • Since Joe is now a native and Frank is a visitor, and we know that there is only one visitor, we can now deduce that the third person, Bill, must be a native along with Joe

Answer

Frank is the visitor and Joe and Bill are natives. The statement made by Joe cannot be correct because if they were all natives none of them would say they were. Consequently, we know that Joe is a native. Frank, on the other hand, could not be a native since if he was, it means that Bill is the only visitor. This would make Frank's statement true, which he could not make if he were a native.

Trivia


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