Some of you have been waiting with bated breath for this. This is the post wherein I reveal the reason for the bizarre little survey you took last week.
Okay. Here’s the deal. Apparently “17” is the least random number. What the heck does that mean? Well, it means that according to a few websites I found, some studies have been done that show that people choose the number 17 more often than others. These studies are very rigorous and scientific. Here’s how they are conducted:
Question Is there a least random number? Hypothesis 17 is the least random number. Experiment 1. Find some people. 2. Ask them, one at a time, to think of a number between 1 and 20. 3. Write down what they say. Analysis More people choose the number 17 than any other number. Conclusion 17 is the least random number.
Hardcore science, that is. But seriously, there does seem to be something to this. Because I did the experiment myself. ON YOU! Mwah hah hah hah hah! Here are the results:
I conducted a survey last week that asked one question: “Think of a number between one and twenty, and write it here.” The graph above shows the distribution of the random numbers chosen by the 48 people who took the survey. The numbers along the bottom are the numbers one through twenty. (And also 42, because of some Douglas Adams-reading smart aleck.) The numbers along the left are the number of people who chose that number. So you can tell that nobody chose 1, one person chose 2, two people chose 3, and so forth. Clearly, there are some outliers here. The number 17, as predicted, was way more popular than average, with seven people choosing it. However, in my sampling (which is to say, you), 17 is not the winner. The number 13 is slightly more popular, with eight votes.
So I have to analyze my data, because it doesn’t quite match the hypothesis above.
Here is my analysis:
13 is an unexpected data spike. This is likely because a number of my friends took this survey, and my friends are freaky theater types. So they like spooky things like the *oooh spooky* number 13. Therefore, the data is spoiled by a poorly-designed sample set.
Also, looking at just one portion of the graph, it looks like throwing horns.
Final conclusion: numbers ROCK.