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Tresgatos  (Level: 205.1 - Posts: 4198)
Sun, 28th Sep '08 6:26 PM


Hi all!
I read a very interesting article about this in the New York Times a couple of weeks ago, entitled, "Gut Instinct's Surprising Role in Math." Here's an excerpt from the article:

"Whenever we choose a shorter grocery line over a longer one, or a bustling restaurant over an unpopular one, we rally our approximate number system, an ancient and intuitive sense that we are born with and that we share with many other animals. Rats, pigeons, monkeys, babies — all can tell more from fewer, abundant from stingy. An approximate number sense is essential to brute survival: how else can a bird find the best patch of berries, or two baboons know better than to pick a fight with a gang of six?"

And here's a link if you want to read the whole thing:

You may have to register and log in if you haven't ever done so in the past.

If you don't want to mess around with reading the article and want to go straight to the test, here's a link for that:

It does require a bit of time, as the instructions say to "take the test at least 25 times to get a good estimate of your performance."

I found it was a lot of fun and interesting as well. Enjoy!

-- Geri

Garrybl  (Level: 280.2 - Posts: 6644)
Sun, 28th Sep '08 9:53 PM

agreed; interesting but when the numbers got close it seemed a lottery to me.
Still at least I beat the average...

Smoke20  (Level: 62.6 - Posts: 2815)
Sun, 28th Sep '08 10:49 PM

And that is, after all, what's important.

Pepperdoc  (Level: 152.5 - Posts: 4286)
Sun, 28th Sep '08 11:44 PM

I took it 25 times and got 88 % (I did them very quickly and tried not to think but just react.)
I was wondering if it has anything to do with the placement of the dots or the size of the dots.

Tresgatos  (Level: 205.1 - Posts: 4198)
Tue, 30th Sep '08 1:27 AM

From what I read, 88% is a great score, considering they said an "average" adult will score around 75%. Now, the question is, how can we translate that into Sploofus points?

-- Geri

Godwit  (Level: 78.9 - Posts: 435)
Wed, 1st Oct '08 3:28 AM

Yes, I would like my Spots Badge, please, if we can't earn sploofus points.

I took it 25 times, with 88% correct. What was kool is I knew instantly which answer was right (even when I was wrong!). That is, I had a "gut" feeling...just as you do when you walk into a room and you "know"
how many girls versus boys or red team versus blue team are in there.

so interesting. Thanks for sharing the study. I wonder if this plays out in life in some way...and are we wired to avoid any potentially harmful situation where we are outnumbered? So are people who hang out in large groups safer and happier?
But they have fewer sploofus points.

Maniact44  (Level: 16.6 - Posts: 39)
Sun, 11th Jan '09 2:34 AM

yeah 84 percent i guess i gotta go shopping more to raise my stats

Kaufman  (Level: 257.1 - Posts: 3936)
Sun, 11th Jan '09 8:57 AM

Just goes to show, they're colorblind 20% of the time.

Seriously, I'm not sure it's a completely fair test. On that gray background, the yellows show up much more strikingly than the blues, at least to me.

Bobbsey  (Level: 153.6 - Posts: 252)
Sat, 14th Mar '09 7:48 AM

yes, the yellow ones stand out more, and thats why i did 61^, and thats my story and i'm sticking to it.

Otis89  (Level: 122.5 - Posts: 16)
Tue, 17th Mar '09 3:07 PM

24 out of 25. 96%! Booya!

Pennwoman  (Level: 155.2 - Posts: 2478)
Tue, 17th Mar '09 5:29 PM

Now I have blue and yellow dots in front of my eyes.....

Nanpaulhus  (Level: 139.2 - Posts: 340)
Wed, 15th Apr '09 2:39 PM

around # 15 or 16 I was hitting a 93%, then at 25 I was at 75% NOT GOOD ENUFF! I went fror 50 times and ended up with 82% which made me feel better. Just that bit of superior, you know, goes a long way

Flcyclist  (Level: 124.7 - Posts: 691)
Thu, 16th Apr '09 12:12 AM

My eyes must work really quickly because I took the test 25 times and got 96% correct. So what does that say about me???

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