The vast majority of Americans are confident they can count from 0 to 50. If you can’t, I can’t help you. But when you start taking the quiz below, you might start to realize that you’re missing an important math skill.
When Playbuzz created the below quiz, they asked you to figure out which number was missing from the sequence. They show you several lines of numbers and then ask you to pick out which is not there.
The premise is easy enough. And when you take your time and scan from number to number to number, you’re bound to get it correct. But why are so many people failing? Because at just a glance, it is almost impossible to spot the missing digit. Can you best the masses and find the missing number faster than the average Joe?
Check out the quiz below and see if you can stand up to the test!
Take a look at the quiz below. Can you see which number is missing?
I’ll be honest, when I first looked through the numbers, I didn’t see the missing one. Although in my head, I kept telling myself, “You can do it, you’re smarter than average, you can find the missing number faster than other people.” In truth, I didn’t get it until my second time through.
But if you have hawk eyes, you might be able to spot the missing 32. Take a closer look and you’ll see the sequence jump from 31 to 33 without a hitch.
Why do so many people miss the missing digit? Because we are so used to the sequence, our eyes fail to find the missing number. It’s like our brains have been trained to look at the sequence at large rather than each number individually.
In a 2013 blog post from Seeker.com, psychologists discussed why our brain misses the obvious sometimes.
In one test conducted by psychologists, Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons, half of the people watching one video failed to miss the man dressed in the gorilla suit walking through the crowd in the basketball game after being instructed to count the number of passes between team members. When our minds are focused on one thing, we fail to notice what else is around us.
“We have a bias to believe that we will notice all the important things,” said Chabris, a professor at Union College and co-author with Simons of “The Invisible Gorilla”.
During a similar experiment by Chabris and Simons, the researchers faked a fight on a path after asking participants to run past while chasing someone else.
“Many did not notice [the fight],” Chabris said. “The thing you think is salient — people fighting — should grab your attention, but if you’re chasing a suspect it’s shockingly easy to miss things that in retrospect seem obvious.”
If our minds are focused on something, we often miss the obvious. We become distracted by the task at hand and do not consider alternatives.
Did you find the missing 32 quickly or did it take you a second or third try?
Please SHARE YOUR QUIZ RESULTS in the comments below!