A nice Simpson’s Paradox example for kids

Last night I was looking for a project for today and grabbed this book off the shelf:

In the middle of the book I found a really nice Simpson’s Paradox example and tried it out today with the kids. For more on Simpson’s Paradox, the Wikipedia page is actually great:

Simpson’s Paradox on Wikipedia

So, here’s the first part of today’s project – we have 4 boxes that have fixed amounts of red and blue cubes inside of them. First we divide them into two groups of 2 and ask which one in each group gives you a better chance of selecting a red block. It turns out that this is also a good introductory fraction exercise for kids, too!

Next we see the “paradox.” We combine the two winning boxes into one box and combine the two losing boxes into one box. Now which of the two remaining boxes gives you a better chance of selecting a red block?

So a fun and strange example for kids to see. Again, the Wikipedia page linked above gives a few more fun (and famous) examples. Really happy to have found this example in Moscovich’s book last night!

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