Let's make a deal: Quality and availability of second-stage information as a catalyst for change

Thinking and Reasoning 13 (3):248 – 272 (2007)
The Monty Hall Problem (MHP), a process of two-stage decision making, was presented in atypical form via a custom software game. Differing from the normal three-box MHP, the game added one additional box on-screen for each game—culminating on game 23 with 25 on-screen boxes to initially choose from. A total of 108 participants played 23 games (trials) in one of four conditions; (1) “Vanish” condition—all non-winning boxes totally removed from the screen; (2) “Empty” condition—all non-winning boxes remain on-screen, but with an “empty” label on them; (3) “Steroids” condition—all non-winning boxes removed from the screen, with initially chosen box becoming 25% larger; (4) “Steroids2” condition—all non-winning boxes removed from the screen, box not currently chosen becomes 25% larger. Results indicate second-stage on-screen presence of boxes influences switching; with their absence having the opposite effect. Size manipulation appears to elicit demand characteristics resulting in indeterminate influence.
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