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The REAL Answer To The Viral Chinese Math Problem “How Old Is The Captain?”

The study was replicated on a larger scale in countries including France, Germany and Switzerland, even by researchers, who thought this was not even possible. They were antagonistic to this hypothesis that students would just manipulate numbers, and they found the same thing. Gene Wirchenko emailed me about this related problem. His blog has math and logic problems, usually simpler than mine, and it has other posts. You can visit his blog at genew.ca So, the related question is the following: "There are 125 sheep and five dogs in a flock. How old is the shepherd?" Well once again, you would expect the ''correct'' answer, that "there is not enough information" to solve the problem.

But, researchers found shocking results again! Many students produced answers by manipulating the numbers in the question. One student reasoned along the following lines: "Well, 125 plus 5 equals 130. That's too old of an age and 125 minus 5 equals 120, that's also too old of an age. But 125 divided by 5 equals 25 sounds about right.'' So, the student concluded the shepherd is 25 years old. So, what's the lesson in all of this? The so-called ''Chinese'' test question, that went viral was REALLY a French research question from nearly 40 years ago.

For such an absurd question, the correct answer is that ''there is not enough information'' I give credit to the school in China for asking this question. We still need to improve the critical thinking skills of students in math class. We still keep thinking that every problem we get is solvable, and it should be solvable just by manipulating the numbers we get We should always think ''Does the question actually make sense?'' and '' Is there enough information to solve it?'' So that's the real story to this viral math question from China. Thanks for watching this video. Please subscribe to my channel, I make videos on math. You can catch me on my blog, mindyourdecisions.com/blog/ If you like this video, you can check out my books which are linked in the video description, and you can support me on Patreon. If you have a suggestion for a puzzle or a math topic, you can email me at presh [at] mindyourdecisions [dot] com And you can also catch me on social media either at MindYourDecisions or @preshtalwalkar..

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