A test of 3 'simple' questions that only 17% of participants get right

A test made by
Cognitive Reflection Test
Three 'easy' questions
8 out of 10 people fail
Intuition sometimes fails
Do you dare take the 'Cognitive Reflection Test'?
First question
Response:
Second question
Response:
Third question
Response:
So, how did you do?
The explanation
Reasoning vs. intuition
You have to stop and think
Test your relatives!
A test made by

In 2005, psychologist Shane Frederick from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) put together an intelligence test that would get widely circulated.

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Cognitive Reflection Test

Dubbed the 'Cognitive Reflection Test' (CRT), it's the shortest intelligence test in the world. That doesn't mean it's any easier than other intelligence tests. Not at all.

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Three 'easy' questions

The intelligence test consists of only three straightforward questions. However, they turn out to be an ordeal for anyone who faces them.

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8 out of 10 people fail

Less than 20% of those who take this intelligence test give the correct answer to the three questions. More than 8 out of 10 people fail at some point.

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Intuition sometimes fails

What's the catch? Understanding the answers is very simple, but it turns out to be a challenge to refrain from resorting to the wrong answer that comes to mind before the correct one.

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Do you dare take the 'Cognitive Reflection Test'?

Remember, do not get carried away by your impulses and the first answer that comes to mind. Reflect and give your answer in a thoughtful way.

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First question

A baseball bat and ball cost $1.10. The bat costs 1 dollar more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?

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Response:

The ball is worth 5 cents and the baseball bat is worth $1.05.

Your first impulse may lead you to think that the ball is worth 10 cents, but in that case the total for the bat and ball would be $1.20.

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Second question

If it takes 5 machines 5 minutes to make 5 objects, how long would it take 100 machines to make 100 objects?

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Response:

It would only take 5 minutes. They are more machines, more objects, but the same execution time.

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Third question

In a lake, there is a cluster of lotuses. Every day the cluster doubles in size. If it takes 48 days for the lotuses to cover the entire lake, how long will it take to cover half the lake?

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Response:

The answer is 47 days. Just the day before it fills up completely, half of the lake would be covered with lotuses.

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So, how did you do?

Many people give at least one wrong answer - even though the answers are so simple. Why are these seemingly easy questions so hard to get right?

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The explanation

Shane Frederick gave the scientific explanation to this riddle. He says that there are two types of cognitive activity. The first runs quickly and intuitively. The second involves more conscious thought and additional mental effort.

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Reasoning vs. intuition

The 'Cognitive Reflection Test' centers on the reasoning of the three answers: whether your mind classifies them in the first type of cognitive activity (intuitive), or in the second (conscious and logical), which it should.

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You have to stop and think

For that reason, intuition dictates that the correct answers are 10 cents, 100 minutes and 24 days when, as we have seen, this is not the case.

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Test your relatives!

How do you think your family and friends will do this test? Share the link to this article!

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