# The Simple Question that Stumped Everyone Except Marilyn vos Savant

TLDRMarilyn vos Savant, known for her record IQ of 228, sparked a debate with her 'Ask Marilyn' column in Parade Magazine. The Monty Hall problem, a probability puzzle, asked if it's advantageous to switch doors in a game show scenario. Despite backlash and criticism from readers, including a math professor, vos Savant's advice to switch was correct, doubling the chances of winning. The controversy led to a deeper understanding of probability and the importance of information in decision-making.

### Takeaways

- 🧠 Marilyn vos Savant is renowned for her exceptional intelligence, with an IQ of 228.
- 🌟 She gained global attention in 1985 when she was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's smartest person.
- 📰 Parade Magazine's 'Ask Marilyn' column became a platform for her to engage with readers and address their questions.
- 🚪 The Monty Hall problem, posed by a reader in 1990, sparked a heated debate on probability and decision-making.
- 🤔 Most people initially believed that switching doors would not affect their chances of winning, which is a common misconception.
- 📈 Marilyn's correct response was that switching doors actually increases the probability of winning to 2/3.
- 📨 She faced significant backlash and criticism from the public, including some with advanced degrees, for her stance on the Monty Hall problem.
- 🎓 Despite the controversy, Marilyn stood by her answer, and eventually, some critics acknowledged her correctness.
- 🏆 The Monty Hall problem underscored the importance of using all available information to make informed decisions.
- 🏛️ Marilyn has criticized compulsory schooling for promoting passive learning and has advocated for independent thinking.
- 📚 She did not complete her university education, choosing instead to pursue her passions in investment and writing.
- 🔍 The script also promotes an online learning platform, Brilliant, which offers courses on probability and other subjects to enhance critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

### Q & A

### What is the significance of Marilyn vos Savant's last name in French?

-Marilyn vos Savant's last name in French means 'learned,' which is fitting given her exceptional intelligence and high IQ of 228.

### When did Marilyn vos Savant gain international recognition for her intelligence?

-Marilyn vos Savant gained international recognition in 1985 when she topped the Guinness Book of World Records list as the smartest person in the world.

### What was the name of the game show problem that Marilyn vos Savant famously answered?

-The problem is known as the Monty Hall problem, named after the former host of the game show 'Let's Make a Deal.'

### What was the controversial advice Marilyn vos Savant gave regarding the Monty Hall problem?

-Marilyn vos Savant advised that one should switch their choice of doors in the Monty Hall problem, stating that the second door has a 2/3 chance of having the prize.

### Why did Marilyn vos Savant receive backlash for her answer to the Monty Hall problem?

-Marilyn vos Savant received backlash because many people, including some with mathematical backgrounds, initially believed that both unchosen doors had an equal chance of having the prize, and thus saw no benefit in switching.

### How did Marilyn vos Savant explain the logic behind her correct answer to the Monty Hall problem?

-She explained that by switching doors, one takes advantage of the host's knowledge, effectively doubling their odds of winning, as the host has eliminated a door they know does not contain the prize.

### What was the role of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Monty Hall problem controversy?

-A team at MIT worked on the problem, and Seth Kalson of MIT eventually admitted that Marilyn vos Savant was indeed correct, after initially thinking she was wrong.

### How did Professor Robert Sachs of George Mason University respond to Marilyn vos Savant's initial answer?

-Professor Robert Sachs initially sent a critical letter to Marilyn vos Savant, but later conceded and admitted his mistake, expressing embarrassment for his initial response.

### What does Marilyn vos Savant believe is holding people back from reaching their intellectual potential?

-Marilyn vos Savant has been critical of compulsory schooling, stating that students learn passively and are not encouraged to think independently.

### Why did Marilyn vos Savant drop out of university?

-Marilyn vos Savant dropped out of Washington University in St. Louis after two years to pursue a career in investment and later follow her passion for writing.

### What is the significance of the Monty Hall problem in understanding probability and decision-making?

-The Monty Hall problem highlights the importance of using all available information to make informed decisions, and demonstrates how common misconceptions can lead to incorrect assumptions in probability.

### Outlines

### 🧠 The Marilyn vos Savant Phenomenon and the Monty Hall Problem

Marilyn vos Savant, known for her exceptional IQ of 228, gained international attention in 1985 when she was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's smartest person. Born to German and Italian immigrants in St. Louis, Missouri, she was not aware of her intellectual prowess during her early years. Her rise to fame came with a Parade Magazine profile that led to a Sunday column, 'Ask Marilyn,' where she addressed a probability puzzle known as the Monty Hall problem. The problem involves a game show scenario with three doors, one hiding a car and the others goats, and the question of whether it's advantageous to switch your initial choice after the host reveals a goat behind another door. Despite the correct answer being to switch, which increases the chances of winning to 2/3, vos Savant faced significant backlash from the public and even professionals who initially disagreed with her. Eventually, the validity of her answer was confirmed by a team from MIT and other mathematicians, highlighting the importance of understanding probability and the power of information in decision-making.

### 🎓 Rethinking Education and the Power of Independent Learning

In the second paragraph, the script delves into Marilyn vos Savant's views on education and intellectual potential. She criticizes compulsory schooling for promoting passive learning where students are told what to believe rather than encouraged to think independently. Vos Savant herself did not complete university education, having dropped out of Washington University in St. Louis to pursue a career in investment and later writing. The script introduces Brilliant, an online learning platform that offers interactive courses in math, science, and computer science, including a course on probability that covers the Monty Hall problem. The platform is designed to help individuals learn through problem-solving and critical thinking, with a special offer for the first 200 sign-ups through a provided link, granting a 20% discount on the Premium membership. The script concludes with a reminder that information and the right learning approach are crucial for informed decision-making, a concept exemplified by the Monty Hall problem and the broader implications for education and intellectual growth.

### Mindmap

### Keywords

### 💡Marilyn vos Savant

### 💡IQ

### 💡Monty Hall problem

### 💡Game show

### 💡Probability

### 💡Debate

### 💡Backlash

### 💡MIT

### 💡Misconception

### 💡Education

### 💡Brilliant

### Highlights

Marilyn vos Savant has an astonishing IQ of 228, making her one of the smartest people in the world.

Born to immigrant parents, Marilyn's intelligence was not immediately recognized due to gender bias.

In 1985, Marilyn vos Savant was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's smartest person.

Her 'Ask Marilyn' column in Parade Magazine has been answering readers' questions since 1985.

The Monty Hall problem, a probability puzzle, sparked a heated debate after Marilyn's advice to switch doors.

Marilyn's correct response to the Monty Hall problem was met with backlash and criticism from the public.

Despite the controversy, Marilyn stood by her answer, stating that switching doors increases the chance of winning to 2/3.

Many letters accused Marilyn of being wrong, including those from individuals with advanced degrees.

The Monty Hall problem illustrates the importance of using additional information to make better decisions.

Marilyn explained the Monty Hall problem by considering the scenario with 100 doors, emphasizing the advantage of switching.

Some critics eventually admitted their mistake after further analysis of the problem.

Marilyn vos Savant never graduated from university, choosing to pursue her passion for writing instead.

She criticizes compulsory schooling for promoting passive learning rather than independent thinking.

Marilyn believes that intelligence is not necessarily linked to formal education or experience.

The video promotes Brilliant, an online learning platform that offers courses on probability and critical thinking.

The Monty Hall problem is used as an example in Brilliant's probability course to explore common misconceptions.

The video offers a discount for the first 200 people who sign up for Brilliant's Premium membership using a special link.