University of Kansas, Fall 2005
Philosophy 666: Rational Choice Theory
Ben Eggleston—eggleston@ku.edu
Midterm exam
(October 12, 2005)
Instructions:
 Answer all of the following questions on the answer sheets provided. You can write on this sheet of
questions, but credit will be awarded only for answers written on answer
sheets.
 Do not access any book, notebook, newspaper, cell phone, computer, or
other possible source of aid during the exam, do not leave the room before you are finished taking the
exam, and be sure
to finish the exam within this 50minute class period—no credit will be given for any
work done after you access any possible source of aid, after you leave the room for any reason, or
after the end of this class period.
 When you are finished, be sure your name is written on each of your answer
sheets, and turn them in. You do not need to turn in this sheet of questions.
Questions:
 (10 points) You have won a free vacation and can choose any one of these three
options: Miami, Rome, or Tokyo. If you go to Miami, you will have a good time.
If you go to Rome, you will have a wonderful time unless you are sick,
in which case you will have a bad time. If you go to Tokyo, you will have a
great time unless it is cold there, in which case you will have a bad time.
Write a decision table for this situation.
 (5 points) A transformation t(x) is an ordinal one just in case, for all utilities w
and v, it is the case that w ≥ v if and only if t(w) ≥ t(v). Following is a
series of lines someone might offer as a proof of the second half of this biconditional as it applies to the
transformation t(x) = 15 – 4x. Are all of the lines truly justified (not just
claimed to be justified)? If not, which line is the smallestnumbered line that is not
really justified (despite an apparent justification being provided for it)?
no. 
claim 
justification 
1 
t(w) ≥ t(v) 
assumption for proving conditional 
2 
15 – 4w ≥ 15 – 4v 
1, definition of t(x) 
3 
–4w ≥ –4v 
2, subtract 15 from each side 
4 
w ≥ v 
3, divide each side by –4 
 (10 points) Either prove that t(x) = 5 is an ordinal transformation or give a counterexample
showing that it’s not.
Questions 4–7 refer to conditions defined as follows (in the glossary in Allingham’s Choice Theory):
 contraction condition: If you choose some item from a menu and this item
remains available in a more restricted menu, then you also choose it from the
restricted menu.
 expansion condition: If you choose some item in pairwise choices with
every other item on the menu, then you choose it, though not necessarily
alone, from the full menu.
 revelation condition: If you ever choose one item when a second item is
available, then whenever you choose the second and the first is available, you
also choose the first.
 (5 points) Specify a set of no more than five choices violating the expansion
condition (or, if there is no such set, say so).
 (5 points) Specify a set of no more than five choices violating the contraction
condition but not the expansion condition (or, if there is no such set, say
so).
 (5 points) Specify a set of no more than five choices violating the revelation
condition but not the contraction condition (or, if there is no such set, say
so).
 (5 points) Specify a set of no more than five choices violating the expansion
condition but not the revelation condition (or, if there is no such set, say
so).
Questions 8–10 refer to the following decision table:

S_{1} 
S_{2} 
S_{3} 
A_{1} 
5 
6 
7 
A_{2} 
8 
4 
6 
A_{3} 
6 
9 
5 
A_{4} 
3 
5 
7 
 (5 points) Which act(s) would be selected by the maximin rule?
 (5 points) Which act(s) would be selected by the optimismpessimism rule, assuming an
optimism index of 0.3?
 (5 points) Which act(s) would be selected by the principle of insufficient reason?
Question 11 refers to the following decision table:

S_{1} 
S_{2} 
A_{1} 
0 
1 
A_{2} 
c 
c 
 (10 points) Prove that you can figure out the optimism index of an agent who uses the
optimismpessimism rule by ascertaining the value of c that makes the agent
indifferent between A_{1} and A_{2}. That is, prove that if an
agent uses the optimismpessimism rule and is indifferent between A_{1}
and A_{2}, then the agent’s optimism index is equal to c.
 (5 points) Give an example of an ordinal transformation that is not a linear
transformation, by giving a short list of utilities and a corresponding list
that is an ordinal transformation of the first list but is not a linear
transformation of the first list.
 (10 points) Prove that no linear transformation converts your first list (in problem
12) into your second one.
 (5 points) Suppose the probability that you will make money in the stock market this
year is 3/5, and that the probability that you will read a free online
stockmarket newsletter is 1/4. Suppose, finally, that the probability that
you will make money in the stock market this year, given that you read the
newsletter, is 3/5. Is the event of your making money in the stock market this
year independent of the event of your reading the newsletter? Why or why not?
 (10 points) Suppose Mike is suspected, by his employer, of being a marijuana user. The
employer believes that in the population at large, 4 percent of the people use
marijuana. To test Mike for marijuana use, he administers a test that
correctly detects marijuana use 95 percent of the time, and correctly detects
nonuse 90 percent of the time. If Mike tests positive for marijuana use, how
probable should the employer think it is that Mike uses marijuana? Use Bayes’s
Theorem and show your work. (This problem is adapted from the Stanford
Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on Bayes’s Theorem.)