THE LADY OR THE TIGER?—AN ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION. Francis Stockton wrote a famous story at the end of the nineteenth century—The Lady or the Tiger? My father told us the story a couple times at the dinner table. The story presents a situation which seems to be designed for game theory analysts. A young man has won the heart of a barbarian princess. Her father, the barbarian king, disapproves and decrees that as a punishment in a public ceremony the young man will be required to open one of two doors. Behind one door is a beautiful lady he will be required to marry; behind the other door is a hungry tiger. The princess who is in love with him has found out which door the tiger is behind. She signals him, and he opens the door that she has directed him to. At that point, Stockton speculates about female jealousy and about barbarism and civilization. He concludes the story by asking which came out from the door, the lady or the tiger? (As an aside, in my limited sampling, there is a gender difference. Men tend to think the princess guided her lover to the lady; women tend to think that she guided him to the tiger).
Kids, as an example of the argument that there are often other possibilities in the real world, as opposed to the artificial world of logical assumptions, one game theorist has proposed an alternative solution. The young man should open both doors and hope that the tiger chooses the lady.