The most twisted question that has been put in an exam. And it is relevant.
Dylan Selterman offered her Social Psychology students the opportunity to earn extra points for answering this question.
Some teachers have the habit of putting extra questions in the exams for those students who want to raise their grade. They are usually more difficult issues than usual, but a professor at the University of Maryland, in the United States, has taken the matter to a higher level.
Dylan Selterman, who is the teacher's name, offered his Social Psychology students the opportunity to earn extra points, choosing between two options. This was the "question":
"Select if you want to add 2 or 6 points to the final grade of your exam. But there is one small drawback: if more than 10% of the students select 6 points, then nobody gets any points".
The professor explained that every year he tries to present his students with a real problem that is known as the "tragedy of the commons", that is, a situation in which several individuals, motivated only by personal interest and acting independently but rationally, they end up destroying a limited shared resource (the common one) although none of them, either as individuals or as a whole, agree that such destruction will happen.
If all the students had chosen to raise their grade two points now they would all have a better score. But it was not like that. "I have been doing this exercise every semester since the first time I taught at the university, in 2008," the professor told. "Only once did the students stay below the threshold of the selfish option (and I think it was a matter of chance)".
Because my will is as strong as yours and my kingdom as great ...
You have no power over me.