The Department Store Task

Free ressource - Assess your sense of stock and flow.

Based on the article " Why Don’t Well-Educated Adults Understand Accumulation?"

by M.Cronin, C.Gonzales and J.Sterman, 2006

Link to the paper on the MIT website

This exercice was part of a research study led by George Mason University , Carnegie Mellon University , and the MIT Sloan School of Management . It is a quick and amuzing way to assess your sensibility to the concept of accumulation.


The graph below shows the number of people entering and leaving a store over a 30-minutes period.

Please answer the following questions.

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