Skip to content

Golden Balls – Split or Steal – Women More Likely to Steal?

November 1, 2011

What follows is a little unscientific analysis of the final stage of a British game show. At the end of the game, the jackpot is left to be decided between the remaining two contestants, who can either choose to ‘split’ or to ‘steal’. Very simple.

Both split – 50% each

You split – opponent steals – opponent wins 100%

Opponent splits – you steal – you win 100%

Both steal – nobody wins anything.

Now, the more rational among you will understand that it makes more sense to ‘steal’ from a gambling perspective. 0 or 50 per cent, versus 0 or 100 per cent. But this game is an important test of our social conventions. I mean, most people would not be so selfish and cruel…right?

After I saw the first video, as cold and callous as it is, I was interested to find as many clips as I could of these decisions and break down the results. Most videos are found on this channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/splitorsteal

I grant that the sample size isn’t huge. But I selected only the games where one person stole and the other split, and where the finalists were not of the same gender, so we could gauge who is more inclined to treachery when money is at stake.

________________________________________________________________________

This first one is for £100,000. Oh boy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3Uos2fzIJ0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9iLwp6Dcf4&feature=related

Love the ‘commentary’ on this one:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftaR6bYA3LA&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKaYRH6E36U&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flPaDwiqP_o&feature=related

Liv Boeree (how appropriate) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6GhbT-zEfc&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29GSW00UG8U&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQPHMwnBsGA&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzPKspCj1i4&feature=related

________________________________________________________________________

The results are that in this small sample, the men lost 7-2.

Even worse, if we break down by ethnicity (is it still legal to do that?), the black men at least managed 1-1 but the white men were thumped 6-1. Are they viewed as a bunch of suckers and easy prey? (Yes.)

I actually had an idea how to win this game. Men generally are honour bound in a way that women are not. So if your opponent is a woman, just say upfront, “I know you want to steal it all so I’m going to steal, you’re not getting a penny. Unless you choose split none of us get anything. But I promise with TV as my witness, if you let me win the jackpot I will share 50%.” (more cold blooded types may suggest a lower percentage.)

Still, I don’t want to completely erase your faith in decency, so: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYYSu6PkyDs&feature=related

Advertisements
3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 1, 2011 20:51

    Microcosm for society right there isn’t it

  2. November 1, 2011 23:21

    Ha, I’ve just posted this on my Facebook page (yes I know, I use it mainly to pay Scrabble, honest) with the title ‘women more likely to steal’. Let’s see if I get any bites. Could be interesting.

    • November 2, 2011 01:12

      RH let me fake my righteous conspiracist indignation…”zomg you have a facebook account? dont you know the Feds watch that!!”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: