On a quiet evening, my wife and I were sitting with our kitties in front of the fire. Warm, happy, and loved, there was no more perfect time to reflect upon LSAT logic games...
There is a well-known logic problem. It has many forms, but I like it best adapted to my field. It goes like this:
A Philosophy department was seeking a new Chair. There were three candidates for the position (that's how you know it's fiction: there would never be THREE candidates for being Chair. Someone has to be dragged kicking and screaming into the position and kept there with cookies.). To decide the next Chair, the Chairperson declared there would be a logic contest.
"I have three white hats, and two black hats," she said. "In a moment, I shall take the three of you into the conference room. I will then place a hat on each person's head, either White or Black. Only, there's a catch. The room is pitch black. The windows are covered, and the light is off. In the darkness, you will not be able to see the hat on anyone else's head, and you will not know the color of the hat that is placed on your own head. The first candidate to correctly identify the color of the hat that MUST be on their own head shall be the new Chair."
The Chair and two of the candidates got up from their seats and began to walk into the pitch black conference room. The third candidate remained seated. "Aren't you coming?" asked the Chair. "No need," the candidate replied. "I already know what color my hat must be." Shocked, the Chair gestured for the candidate to proceed. "Do tell," she said. The candidate gave her answer, and was elected the new Chair on the spot.
What did the candidate say?
(To help, there are no "gimmick" answers or trick responses, e.g. "she said her hat was black because all of the hats are black in a dark room." No nonsense like that. Just standard logic.)
I've given this riddle to my classes for years. Not one has ever gotten it right (without Googling it...). What is remarkable is that it is not a difficult riddle at all. In fact, I would argue it's not even a riddle, but a testament to your state of mind. You have to see the world a certain way. And if you CAN see the world that way, you have the most important ingredient in solving logic games quickly and accurately on the LSAT.
For the record, Bumblebee growled, Kik threw up, and Echo rolled over. The wife, after two glasses of wine, threw a pillow. That is the sum total of their answers.
Free stuff related to the LSAT. This blog includes reflections, tips, strategies, and problem solving for the LSAT. Feel free to email questions. I'll be happy to answer them on my blog.