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May 4, 2009

pick the perp

Pick the Perp :: see if your stereotypes and limited info sleuthing can get you a > 20% (random) success rate

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Comments (11)

Wow, that game is upsetting.

Posted by: Robert at May 4, 2009 2:15 AM

0 out of 10 so far. I give up. Does that mean that I'm not so observant?

Posted by: MrCorey at May 4, 2009 9:58 AM

This is quite an experiment in stereotypes.
I had a score of 12 out of 45

Posted by: Anthony at May 4, 2009 12:20 PM

my 20% success rate wasn't random. it just means my stereotyping is a little off

Posted by: Josh at May 4, 2009 1:41 PM

The only pick that boosted me over chance was selection on a battery charge where one of the guys had blood on his face.

I was a little confused about the sample, are these all people charged with crimes, and I am trying to select the alleged perp of the mentioned crime? Or is it 4 people not charged with anything, and 1 person who is?

Posted by: Sam N at May 4, 2009 2:55 PM

Dear commenters,
It's not racism or profiling at all. Every picture on the site is a person who was arrested. They all (allegedly) committed a crime. So it's not the site's fault that you're picking the black girl or the mexican guy. That's on you.

:: from ze :: i am a little unclear about who this is directed towards - it appears to be written by the creator of the picktheperp. so far no one has accused the site of racism or profiling...

Posted by: Maximillian at May 4, 2009 2:56 PM

I offered this to my high school seniors to do in class. As a group, they could come to agree on top 1 or 2 almost every time. In the end they scored 9 out of 25 (36%). As a statistics teacher, I was tempted to show them the probability of one sample having that kind of variation, but I would have likely been hung on the spot for killing the vibe.

Posted by: Darin at May 4, 2009 4:36 PM

Without anything to go on beyond the crime and the mugshot, ALL that's left is so-called profiling, random chance or thinking thinking.

(Example of the latter- "If the point here is that I shouldn't go by stereotypes then maybe I should select the woman for assault and battery and the guy for child neglect?" I know he knows that I know that he knows...)

From a recent NYT article on the Susan Boyle phenom-

"But many social scientists and others who study the science of stereotyping say there are reasons we quickly size people up based on how they look. Snap judgments about people are crucial to the way we function, they say — even when those judgments are very wrong.?


Susan Boyle made the news, why? Because she was exceptional. It is unusual for someone with that much talent NOT to pick up some tips on hairstyles or dress along the way.

Posted by: DS Bakker at May 4, 2009 5:47 PM

I was running at 25%, but when I started my own list where I picked 2 per lineup, I got 90% in 20 picks. What does that mean?

Posted by: CosmicDan at May 4, 2009 6:45 PM

I have more than a few minutes on my hand, so did 200! My score was 30%. Some of the perps come again and you could guess that they need to be charged with SOMEthing. Then again, some got multiple charges.

I can say that most - but not all - domestic assault and loiterers were male. Most drunk drivers looked wasted.

Guess my 10 years in Baltimore wasn't for nothing!

Posted by: gypsy sister at May 4, 2009 10:56 PM

omg i started at about 50%, then down to 40 but kept it at around 35%. i must be a genius :P

Posted by: me at May 8, 2009 4:04 PM

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