# The Simple Question that Stumped Everyone Except Marilyn vos Savant

TLDRMarilyn vos Savant, known for her record IQ of 228, ignited a debate with her 'Ask Marilyn' column response to the Monty Hall problem in 1990. Despite backlash and criticism from the public and professionals alike, she stood by her answer that switching doors increases the chance of winning. The controversy led to further explanation and eventually, acknowledgment of her correctness. The story highlights the importance of information in decision-making and the misconception of equal probability without context.

### Takeaways

- 🧠 Marilyn vos Savant is known for her exceptionally high IQ of 228 and her role as the 'smartest person in the world' according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
- 📚 Born to immigrant parents, Marilyn was not made aware of her exceptional abilities, and her intelligence was often overlooked due to her gender.
- 💡 In 1985, Marilyn gained widespread recognition after Parade Magazine featured her and offered her a column, 'Ask Marilyn', which still exists today.
- 🚪 The Monty Hall problem, posed by a reader in Marilyn's column, sparked a heated debate on probability and became one of the most discussed problems of the 21st century.
- 🤔 The Monty Hall problem illustrates the concept of conditional probability, where switching doors after the host reveals a goat increases the chances of winning from 1/3 to 2/3.
- 📉 Despite her correct response, Marilyn faced significant backlash and criticism from the public, including some who accused her of mathematical illiteracy.
- 🙌 Eventually, even those who initially criticized her, such as a team from MIT and a professor, acknowledged her correct explanation and apologized for their earlier judgments.
- 🏫 Marilyn has been critical of the passive learning environment in schools, advocating for independent thinking rather than rote education.
- 🎓 Interestingly, Marilyn herself did not complete university education, having dropped out to pursue her career and passions.
- 🔢 The script highlights the importance of understanding and applying probability in decision-making, especially when additional information is available.
- 📘 The Monty Hall problem serves as a reminder that our assumptions about equal likelihood in binary choices can often be misguided without considering all available information.

### Q & A

### What is the full name of the person who is known for having the highest IQ according to the Guinness Book of World Records?

-Marilyn vos Savant.

### What was Marilyn vos Savant's IQ score?

-Marilyn vos Savant's IQ score was 228.

### In what year did Marilyn vos Savant become famous for her high IQ?

-Marilyn vos Savant became famous for her high IQ in 1985.

### What is the name of the game show problem Marilyn vos Savant is known for answering?

-The problem is known as the Monty Hall problem.

### What was the initial reaction to Marilyn vos Savant's answer to the Monty Hall problem?

-The initial reaction to Marilyn vos Savant's answer was largely negative, with many people, including some with mathematical backgrounds, believing she was wrong.

### What is the correct strategy according to Marilyn vos Savant for the Monty Hall problem?

-According to Marilyn vos Savant, the correct strategy is to switch your choice of doors, as it increases your chances of winning to 2/3.

### How did Marilyn vos Savant respond to the backlash against her answer to the Monty Hall problem?

-Marilyn vos Savant responded by devoting several columns to explaining her logic and proving the benefits of switching through the analysis of all possible outcomes.

### What did Marilyn vos Savant think about the compulsory schooling system?

-Marilyn vos Savant was critical of compulsory schooling, stating that it encourages passive learning and a lack of independent thinking.

### Why did Marilyn vos Savant drop out of Washington University in St. Louis?

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

### What is the Monty Hall problem's significance in probability theory and why does it cause confusion?

-The Monty Hall problem is significant in probability theory because it highlights common misconceptions about probability and conditional reasoning, causing confusion due to the counterintuitive nature of the correct strategy.

### How did some of Marilyn vos Savant's critics eventually change their stance on the Monty Hall problem?

-Some critics, including Professor Robert Sachs, eventually conceded that Marilyn vos Savant was correct after further analysis and understanding of the problem.

### What is the role of the host in the Monty Hall problem and how does it affect the odds?

-The host's role in the Monty Hall problem is to reveal a goat behind one of the unchosen doors, which significantly affects the odds by effectively 'filtering out' one of the losing options, thus increasing the probability of winning if the contestant switches doors.

### Outlines

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

Marilyn vos Savant, renowned for her exceptional IQ of 228, became famous in 1985 for being listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's most intelligent person. Born to immigrant parents who never highlighted her extraordinary intellect, she gained global attention with a column in Parade Magazine called 'Ask Marilyn,' where she ignited a debate on the Monty Hall problem—a probability puzzle involving a game show scenario. Despite the backlash and criticism she received for suggesting that switching doors increases the chances of winning, she stood by her correct answer, which was later validated by MIT researchers and even a previously critical professor. The Monty Hall problem illustrates the importance of using all available information to make informed decisions.

### 🎓 Rethinking Education and Embracing Independent Learning

In the second paragraph, Marilyn vos Savant discusses her views on traditional education, suggesting that it may not be the best way to reach one's intellectual potential due to its passive learning approach. She advocates for independent thinking and learning outside the classroom, as exemplified by her own journey of dropping out of university to pursue her passion for writing. The paragraph also introduces Brilliant, an online learning platform offering courses in math, science, and computer science, including a course on probability that covers the Monty Hall problem and other common misconceptions. The platform is designed to cater to learners of all levels, with a special offer for the first 200 users who sign up through the provided link, which includes a 20% discount on the Premium membership.

### Mindmap

### Keywords

### 💡Marilyn vos Savant

### 💡IQ

### 💡Monty Hall problem

### 💡Probability

### 💡Game show

### 💡Debate

### 💡Backlash

### 💡Odds

### 💡Misconception

### 💡Education

### 💡Critical thinking

### Highlights

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

Despite her intelligence, Marilyn was not acknowledged as exceptional during her childhood due to gender bias.

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

Her rise to fame began with a Parade Magazine profile, leading to the 'Ask Marilyn' Sunday column.

The Monty Hall problem, a probability puzzle, sparked intense debate after Marilyn's advice to switch doors was initially met with skepticism.

Marilyn's correct response to the Monty Hall problem was that switching doors increases the chance of winning to 2/3.

Marilyn received thousands of angry letters, with 90% of them claiming she was wrong about the Monty Hall problem.

Academics and the public criticized Marilyn's stance, with some suggesting gender influenced her perspective on the problem.

Despite the backlash, Marilyn's advice on the Monty Hall problem was ultimately proven correct through logical analysis and simulations.

The MIT team and a professor who initially criticized Marilyn later acknowledged her correct solution to the problem.

Marilyn emphasizes the importance of information in making decisions, as demonstrated by the game show host's knowledge in the Monty Hall problem.

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

She advocates for alternative learning methods that do not rely on traditional classroom settings.

Marilyn vos Savant never graduated from university, choosing to pursue her passions in investment and writing instead.

Brilliant, an online learning platform, offers courses on probability and critical thinking, similar to the Monty Hall problem's conceptual challenges.

The video promotes Brilliant's courses with a special offer for viewers to enhance their mathematical and logical reasoning skills.