# Let's make a bell curve.

A simple game. Without looking at the poll results first, choose a number in the poll that you think would contribute to a final result that is a bell curve.

I’m going with 9 digits and single votes for this poll. I might try again with something like 12 choices and/or multiple votes.

Sorry. Should have read the OP first.

Well, interestingly enough, with my vote, the distribution was:

1 0 0%
2 0 0%
3 1 7.69%
4 3 23.08%
5 5 38.46%
6 3 23.08%
7 1 7.69%
8 0 0%
9 0 0%

Maybe we should explain our rationales for picking the number we did, just to keep bumping the poll.

I picked 5 because that number should be picked most, I figured I’d start it off right.

I picked 2 because I like the number and I was rewarded with a bellier curve.

I picked eight as every bell I own is dented and no longer bell shaped.

I figured that most people would select something in the middle, so I should probably select something on the end to taper off the bell. Then I thought some people might be thinking what I was thinking, which would lead to an inverse bell, so I should select something in the middle. Then I thought, “You’ve already spent more than 2 seconds thinking about this. Just click something,” and selected 1.

I thought the same thing, so I split the difference and picked 7. Apparently two other people thought the same thing.

I didn’t read the OP carefully enough, looked at the results first, and picked a number that made the bell closer to symmetrical.

Gut feeling - went with 5 just because.

I picked 7 because I’ve read that it’s the number most commonly selected in “Pick a number from 1 to 10” games.

Same thing I thought when I picked one. There seem to be at least six of us thinking this way so far, with three each for one and nine.

Alright, all you seveners need to knock it off.

I picked 3 because we are in the third month.

Rather than trying to guess what everyone else would do, I decided to take an approach that, if everyone followed it, would naturally produce a bell curve: I rolled dice. Specifically, I did (3d6)/2, rounded down, which got me a 4.

That was my first inclination, too.

But then I decided to take a second-order approach–I would pick a number that is likely to be picked less than its proper normal distribution would demand. I figured most people would pick either the center, with a few (but far more than should) picking the ends. So I decided to pick something just off-center, because it should have high weight, but most people who’d go towards the center would pick the center.

I picked 4, also.

Current distribution:
1 3 6.00%
2 2 4.00%
3 3 6.00%
4 8 16.00%
5 16 32.00%
6 6 12.00%
7 8 16.00%
8 1 2.00%
9 3 6.00%

Seems to support my gut feeling of where people would go.

I picked 5 because I know that the SDMB has a lot of people who think they’re all special unique snowflakes and would want to express that with an extremity pick, and the curve would need more people in the middle.

Figuring that people are terrible at this sort of thing, I decided to make my contribution pure, in terms of expected value. So I came up with a bell-curve shaped distribution of numbers 1-100 (a plurality being assigned to “5,” the second largest amount assigned to “4” and “6,” etc.), then had a random number generator spit out a result. It gave me 93, which corresponded to a 7 (94 would’ve been an 8, 99 would be a 9).

6 seems to be the bastard child so far, and is feeling sad that 7 is more popular and 9 is over-picked.

I went with 3 because I had a feeling either people would pick the very middle or the ends. I went a little outside the middle to flesh out the bell.