Focus on the least significant digits

Peter

Member
In everyday life my brain tend to only focus on the least significant digits because the other digits usually stays the same, which sometimes makes me say the wrong number.

Examples:
  1. Years ago when I was still practicing long jumping I could say 5.76 when I meant 8.76 because 5.xx was what I usually jumped myself.
  2. A shop assistant asked me what shoe size (Euro) I had and I answered 26 when I should have said 46. I immediately realized my mistake but the assistant had time to laugh a little because 26 are some ridiculously small feet.
  3. I have also done it when talking about body weight, saying 78 when I really meant 68 (kg).

I don't hear other people making the same mistake as often as I do, at least not what I have noticed. Why is that? Is my brain faulty? Do you, or someone you know, make this mistake too sometimes?
 

Genesis

Administrator
Staff member
I'm wondering about the same but different mistake. I seem to be transposing the numbers, like if it is 16, at the end of the number it gets to be 61 at the end. Not often though, usually only when I'm tired.
 

Peter

Member
Interesting. I don't tend to transpose numbers like that so I guess we are just different. I also don't make my mistake very often, but when I do, once in a while, I can feel embarrassed making such obvious mistakes in front of people I don't know too well.
 

Genesis

Administrator
Staff member
it's not as bad as it sounds with me though. I always pick up on it immediately. Like the second after the typo happened. I also remember numbers quite well, particularly if I use them often.
 

Snowflake

New member
That's so weird. I can't imagine how it must have been like growing up with that. Would it happen with school exams for math too??

That never happened to me, I'm actually very good with numbers. I can picture them by memory...