Picture the scene. You are in the hot seat of Who Wants to Be A Millionaire and it is time for question nine. You know if you answer correctly you’re walking away with a cool £32,000 guaranteed… and with a free pop at the £64,000 question.
As your heart beats ever more faster and louder, it gets to the point where you can barely hear the question emanating from Chris Tarrant’s lips over your own internal thumping.
“Oh no!” you think. It is one of those questions where – although you’re sure you know the answer – there is also a spoiler answer listed to throw you off the scent. And it is working. Have you really got all the way to this stage in the game to fall at the final hurdle and walk away with only £1,000? What a massive letdown that’d be, considering you already had one hand on that £32,000 cheque and were mentally planning that two-week cruise of a lifetime.
What do you do? Well, asking the audience would be my best bet. But only if you have that option left in your armoury, of course.
I’ve often wondered whether there is a link between the more people that agree on a certain outcome of an event (or question in this case) and the chances of that outcome actually happening. Does it make those chances stronger?
With my quiz show example above, obviously when the question is at the lower end of the prize money scale the audience will show a clear bias to the right answer by a wide margin. The higher we go up the scale the trickier the questions, and so there is less margin between all four potential answers. However, even though there is no clear bias more often than not the answer with the most audience votes prove to be correct.
So if you’re ever unsure then going with the consensus may be the answer in many fields.
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