We’ve just submitted a paper:
Lee, M.D., Zhang, S., & Shi, J. (submitted). The wisdom of the crowd playing the Price is Right.
looking at whether there it is possible to combine the four bids contestants make in the Price is Right, to give a more accurate estimate of the true value of the prize.
The nice finding is that using models of decision-making helps, because it lets you aggregate over what people know about the price, rather than what they say when they bid.
As the snippet below shows, sometimes people bid $1, not because they think that’s the right price, but because it’s a clever strategy to maximize their chance of winning. Also, apparently, people sometimes bid $420. As one of us originally said:
I think it’s rare to have a “lucky number” so big as 420. And I can’t think up a second reason why he was doing that!