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Our Ability to Keep 'Em Guessing Peaks Around Age 25


A young man considers how to behave randomly.

Researchers at the Algorithmic Nature Group at LABORES Scientific Research Lab for the Natural and Digital Sciences in France say people's ability to behave randomly reaches its zenith at age 25, then gradually erodes before experiencing a swift decline at age 60.

Credit: Shutterstock

People's ability to behave randomly reaches its zenith at age 25, and then gradually erodes before experiencing a swift decline at age 60, according to researchers from the Algorithmic Nature Group at LABORES Scientific Research Lab for the Natural and Digital Sciences in France.

The team had volunteers of varying ages compete against computers in random pattern production and recognition tasks. Subjects had to create sequences of coin tosses and die rolls they thought would appear random to another person, guess which card would be drawn from a randomly shuffled deck, and point to circles on a screen and color in a grid to form a seemingly random design.

"At age 25, people can outsmart computers at generating this kind of randomness," says LABORES researcher Hector Zenil.

The research is the first to use an algorithmic approach to quantifying complexity over a continuous age range.
 

From Scientific American
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Abstracts Copyright © 2017 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


 

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