January 26, 2011

GIRL 1 vs GIRL 2

"The purpose of psychology is to give us a completely different idea of the things we know best."
-Paul Valery

I studied psychology in college.  It was my minor, in fact.  I remember during one class, my professor proposed this scenerio:

Girl 1:  One girl gives a guy her phone number.  He tells her he'll call her at a certain time.  And he does.

Girl 2:  This girl gives a guy her phone number.  He tells her he'll call her at a certain time.  But so far she hasn't heard from him.

This goes on for days.

The question is:  Everyday, which girl do you think is waiting for his phone call?



  1. The second one. She obviously thinks that the guy is really going to call or would not keep giving her phone number.

  2. Of course it's girl #2. Girl #1 already knows he's going to call so she's not anxiously waiting in suspense.

  3. I should probably clarify that the girl only gave the guy her number once. So, think of it like she gave him the number on Sunday. On Monday he calls or doesn't call. On Tuesday, he calls or doesn't call, etc.

    It might see obvious that girl #2 would be waiting, but wouldn't you think after a day or two of him not calling she'd just forget about it?

    Girl #1 on the other hand has received a phone call for the past few nights. One would think she'd be expecting a call and maybe wait around for it one night.

    It can go either way. Human behavior is fascinating!

  4. This really is one of the more interesting ways to look at human behavior. If I remember right, this problem portrays a sort of algorithm aspect to it, which basically means we have to put parts together to make sense of it. Because humans have the ability to problem solve, retain information in short-term memory, and plan, we're also able to find shortcuts around these sorts of problems, they're called heuristics.

    When you look at a problem like this you automatically go, "ok it's obviously girl 2, the one he hasn't called" but if you think about it, she's not going to wait there forever for him to call, so it has to be girl 1 because he's already called her and she's waiting for him to call again!

    Sorry for all the boring know-it-all-junk, I just got done learning about this and it's still fresh in my brian, hahah.

    This is why Psychology is important, so we can learn more about ourselves.

    Good post, Em!

  5. Ah, yes...but Matthew, you don't know middle school girls! Oh, the drama! A girl with a crush, a promise of a call, jealous rage, and hope...she'll wait for a long long time. And, it would be more than days.
    I'm with school age girls every day of my life. And I'm not so sure the behavior improves with age. You'd have to be a female to understand the female mindset.

  6. I don't think there is a right or wrong answer. I also think it boils down to our expectations and our hopes.

    Girl #1 expects a phone call because she's received one the past few days. Girl #2 hopes for a call because she was told she would receive on, but so far hasn't.

    How long are we willing to wait for what we expect to happen? How long are we willing to wait for something we hope to happen?

    In each case, there is no guarantee of a phone call.

    I personally believe it is easier to give up on hope, so I'm inclined to believe girl #1 is waiting for a call. He's called all the other days, why wouldn't he call today?

    But, again, I don't think there is a right or wrong answer.

  7. I think it's more of a female vs. male question. If a guy doesn't call, in his mind "this is a done deal and over with." In the girl's mind, "He said he'd call...he will, Oh! I just know he will. I hope, I hope, I hope." Oprah did a whole show on it. HE'S JUST NOT THAT IN TO YOU. Guys get it. Girls don't. Sime guy wrote a book on it.
    But, I agree with you. There is no right or wrong andswer.

  8. Note to sef...when there is no spell check one must proof read.


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