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What's the answer?

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What's the answer?

Post by The Invisible Man on Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:18 pm

It took me about 10 minutes to figure it out. The answer is 2. What did you get? Does this mean my mathematical skills are more like a 5 year old than someone with a university education?
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Re: What's the answer?

Post by pen on Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:59 am

The Invisible Man wrote:It took me about 10 minutes to figure it out. The answer is 2. What did you get? Does this mean my mathematical skills are more like a 5 year old than someone with a university education?

Preschoolers do know how to count to 10 but don't know how to manipulate equations, so it's not a question of mathematical skills. They see these figures as shapes and would have to be told what to count.
If told to count the circles they'd get 2. If told to count the straight up and down lines, they'd get 1.
This is a test of whether we can think like a preschooler, not our math abilities.

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I can't do it???

Post by lionking on Wed Apr 11, 2012 6:13 am

I don't know what all the numbers mean?? How do you get the number 2 by adding the zero's?
Would someone explain what the numbers are?

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Re: What's the answer?

Post by The Invisible Man on Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:27 pm

I organized the numbers:

0000 = 4 so that means each 0 is valued at 1
1111 = 0 so no value to the number
2222 = 0
3333 = 0
( no quadruple 4 )
5555 = 0
6666 = 4 so that means each 6 is valued at 1
7777 = 0
( no quadruple 8 )
9999 = 4 so that means each 9 is valued at 1

Look at the missing numbers (4s and 8s). The first sequence has two 8s in it ( 8809 = 6 ). 8s do not have a value yet. In this sequence, we know 0 has a value of 1 and 9 has a value of 1 and the total is 6 so there's 4 missing. If you divide the leftover 8's into 4 you get a number value of 2. So each 8 is valued at 2

2581 = 0 + 0 + 2 + 0

It works with every sequence
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Re: What's the answer?

Post by pen on Wed Apr 11, 2012 1:15 pm

The preschooler gets it quicker because they aren't aware of values and charting them. They are likely given these instructions:

Look at the shapes. Count the circles. 8 has 2 circles. Zero has one circle. 9 has one circle. 6 has one circle.
Now add up the circles you see in each set of numbers.
The number of circles goes beside the = sign.
How many circles can you find in the last set?

Answer: 2. (8 has 2 circles)

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Re: What's the answer?

Post by The Invisible Man on Wed Apr 11, 2012 1:27 pm

Yes it works both ways. Ha ha I did not think of it from a young child's perspective. It's a trick question. Had a value been assigned to one of the numbers that did not contain a circle or other easy-to-explain shape, most young children would not be able to figure it out.

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Re: What's the answer?

Post by lionking on Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:07 pm

pen wrote:The preschooler gets it quicker because they aren't aware of values and charting them. They are likely given these instructions:

Look at the shapes. Count the circles. 8 has 2 circles. Zero has one circle. 9 has one circle. 6 has one circle.
Now add up the circles you see in each set of numbers.
The number of circles goes beside the = sign.
How many circles can you find in the last set?

Answer: 2. (8 has 2 circles)

The post was good I just don't get it, but I will. Just looking at the post itself, I had no idea what I was supposed to do.
Would people who looked at all those numbers know what to do? How would you know it was about Zero's?
Just looking at these numbers without any explanation of what to do, would people known the numbers were about values and charting?
Thank you! Smile










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Re: What's the answer?

Post by lionking on Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:23 pm

The Invisible Man wrote:I organized the numbers:

0000 = 4 so that means each 0 is valued at 1
1111 = 0 so no value to the number
2222 = 0
3333 = 0
( no quadruple 4 )
5555 = 0
6666 = 4 so that means each 6 is valued at 1
7777 = 0
( no quadruple 8 )
9999 = 4 so that means each 9 is valued at 1

Look at the missing numbers (4s and 8s). The first sequence has two 8s in it ( 8809 = 6 ). 8s do not have a value yet. In this sequence, we know 0 has a value of 1 and 9 has a value of 1 and the total is 6 so there's 4 missing. If you divide the leftover 8's into 4 you get a number value of 2. So each 8 is valued at 2

2581 = 0 + 0 + 2 + 0
It works with every sequence

I am no good just looking at numbers, from what I have read there is a value to certain numbers and, a chart also? That question was good to get the old brain THINKING haha! You guys are so smart I am jealous. I will keep working on it let you know when or if it sinks in. Bye for now. Smile


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Re: What's the answer?

Post by pen on Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:12 am

lionking wrote:
The post was good I just don't get it, but I will. Just looking at the post itself, I had no idea what I was supposed to do.
Would people who looked at all those numbers know what to do? How would you know it was about Zero's?
Just looking at these numbers without any explanation of what to do, would people known the numbers were about values and charting?
Thank you! Smile
Most people assume they are doing a math question or one of those IQ test questions. They think they should apply the math skills they learned in highschool or post secondary education and work out the "answer."
TIM approached the problem by assigning values to each digit, then totalling the values they found in each set. That's a sophisticated math approach.
The problem with the original post is that it didn't say how the preschoolers were instructed to solve the puzzle.
The whole point of the original post was to point out that we are fooled into thinking some things just because we have been taught a certain way.
I think little kids are told to look for shapes and count them, because that's the limit of what they have learned to do.
Maybe the most marvellous thing is that whoever set up this psych test knew enough math to make the question fit both the sophisticated approach and the simple way kids would puzzle this out.
It's a good lesson for helping us think outside the box . . . step outside of what we think is the ONLY approach to a problem and think creatively.


Last edited by pen on Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:14 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : deleting an errant quote mark)

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