Numbers

Prefer Odd Numbers, or Even?

Have you ever reflected on whether you like odd numbers or even ones? In this modern time, we find them all around us. The digital world in which we live makes numbers very visible to us, whether we want to see them or not. Clocks and watches very often now are digital. Controls in car dashboards are most likely digital as are controls for thermostat in your home. Even when controls are not digital, the analog markers have range of numbers.

So the question arises: when you set these controls to some setting, what do you choose? An odd number or an even one?

I personally like to set the controls to even numbers, whether it’s the volume, AC, thermostat or anything else. Even the car speed I like to maintain is even, regardless what is posted on the roadside.

Apparently we are hardwired to prefer even numbers. Some research was conducted by Dan King of the National University of Singapore and Chris A Janiszewski of the University of Florida and it showed that

our brains process even numbers more easily than odd numbers, and that this increased fluency translates as liking for the product. Even numbers are more easily processed, they say, because they appear more frequently in the times tables.

Taken from wired.co.uk

There is more to odd or even numbers. Product marketing relies on use of number, along with letters, to make products attractive. For example, a household cleaner is called 409 and a degreaser is called WD-40. Why?

I did not know this but I have discovered that there apparently are odd and even number cultures. An interesting research conducted in Japan suggests that the Japanese prefer odd numbers while the westerners prefer even numbers. There is very much background information and other eye-popping stuff here. Odd and Even Number Cultures.

Japanese prefer odd numbers, while Westerners prefer even numbers. This is clear from the distribution of number-related words in Japanese and English dictionaries. This paper explains the reason for this cultural difference by surveying the history of numbers, Yin-Yang thought from ancient China, ancient Greek philosophy, and modern European mathematics.

I did not think this would be deep but I guess it is.

If that is the case, I am an ordinary Joe and I just like even numbers, mostly.

What do you prefer, odd numbers or even?

Here is a quiz that tests whether you like even numbers or odd numbers. Do you like odd numbers or even numbers?

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