Learning psychology from riddles: The case of stumpers

Authors: 
Maya Bar-Hillel
Tom Noah
Shane Frederick
Abstract: 

Riddles can teach us psychology when we stop to consider the psychological principles that make them “work”. This paper studies a particular class of riddles that we call stumpers, and provides analysis of the various principles (some familiar, some novel) that inhibit most people from finding the correct solution – or any solution – even though they find the answers obvious ex post. We restrict our analysis to four stumpers, propose the psychological antecedents of each, and provide experimental support for our conjectures

Date: 
February, 2018
Published in: 
Judgment and Decision Making 13.1 (2018): 112.
Number: 
714