Psychology, probability: a parking game
Tutoring probability, you can imagine so many everyday examples. The tutor shares one.
This morning I went to pick up some groceries.
I like to load groceries through the rear door of the van. However, I also like to drive forward from a parking space, rather than backing up.
I arrived at the supermarket early, so there were many free parking spaces two deep: you could park in the first one or glide through to the second one, which faces an exit lane.
So here are the risks of the game:
- Park in the first row, forwards: you have definite access to your rear hatch but you will have to back out if someone parks in front of you.
- Park in the second row, forwards: you can definitely drive out forwards, but someone may park behind you, blocking your rear hatch.
- Park too close and the relevant possibility above (1 or 2) is much more likely; park further away and it takes longer to walk in and return (and I was, as always, in a hurry).
I opted for a fairly close spot and parked in the second row for guaranteed forward exit. However, I left two empty slots closer to the store. Would someone park behind me?
When I emerged, no one had parked behind me. However, someone had parked right beside me in the same manner as I, one space nearer the store. Obviously, they are willing to move a little closer to the edge.
Did someone park behind them? Who knows:) It’s interesting that they seem to calculate the situation very similarly to how I do:)
Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.