# Choose a random number.

• Total voters
93

## Main Question or Discussion Point

Make sure it is really random. No cheating!

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Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Can you really "choose" a random number?

neu
You can't cheat, but you also can't "choose"; lose, lose situation

BobG
Homework Helper
I don't like this game. There aren't enough choices. I wanted to pick 1729.03.

Before I vote, I would like to clear up one thing. Is 18 a random number?

neu
Before I vote, I would like to clear up one thing. Is 18 a random number?
18 is as random as 7

DaveC426913
Gold Member
I am going to bet that you will find a non-random distribution. There will be a statistically significant lack of hits at the ends as well as at the middle, resulting in a double-humped graph.

When asked to choose a number between 1 and 10, a more-than-average number of people will choose 3 or 7 because, psychologically, those numbers are more "hidden".

I am going to bet that you will find a non-random distribution. There will be a statistically significant lack of hits at the ends as well as at the middle, resulting in a double-humped graph.

When asked to choose a number between 1 and 10, a more-than-average number of people will choose 3 or 7 because, psychologically, those numbers are more "hidden".
I remember hearing that you can tell the difference between a sequence of 1's and 0's generated by a pseudo-random generator, and one generated by a person. Apparently, when people generate a sequence, they avoid long runs.

CRGreathouse
Homework Helper
Four is a random number: it was chosen by a fair die roll.
http://xkcd.com/221/

Myself, I used the seconds digits of the current time, mod 20.

CRGreathouse
Homework Helper
I am going to bet that you will find a non-random distribution. There will be a statistically significant lack of hits at the ends as well as at the middle, resulting in a double-humped graph.

When asked to choose a number between 1 and 10, a more-than-average number of people will choose 3 or 7 because, psychologically, those numbers are more "hidden".
I would have guessed the same thing -- but it seems that we have just the opposite in the distribution so far.

Of course, not so much as to make it fail a chi-square: 14.67 vs. the 19.68 needed to reject at 0.05 level with 11 degrees of freedom.

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I closed my eyes moved the cursor around in the vicinity of the numbers and then clicked. It took a couple tries.

Can you really "choose" a random number?
I closed my eyes and moved my cursor to one of the numbers (it was 7). Initially, I wanted to choose 4.

I thought people wouldn't pick numbers near boundary because they appear less random but I guess I am wrong. (I went towards to middle to make it look like random)

I closed my eyes moved the cursor around in the vicinity of the numbers and then clicked. It took a couple tries.
I also did the same thing :)

Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
I am going to bet that you will find a non-random distribution. There will be a statistically significant lack of hits at the ends as well as at the middle, resulting in a double-humped graph.

When asked to choose a number between 1 and 10, a more-than-average number of people will choose 3 or 7 because, psychologically, those numbers are more "hidden".
I would predict that if you put this poll up on any other forum aside from PF, that is precisely what you would see. I think that the folks here at PF are too aware of these patterns and will actually try to break them. I'm curious to see what pattern might instead emerge...maybe the mirror image of what you were predicting.

DaveC426913
Gold Member
I would predict that if you put this poll up on any other forum aside from PF, that is precisely what you would see. I think that the folks here at PF are too aware of these patterns and will actually try to break them.
Guilty. I chose 1.

BobG
Homework Helper
I used the random number scale on my Schmendrolog slide rule. This is a great military slide rule, as it's resistant to EMP.

The Amazing Schmendrolog...

This Polish slide rule (manufactured circa 1973) featured such groundbreaking slide rule innovations as the 'RND' scale (random number generator) and the famous blank area on the back for writing intermediate values and phone numbers.

In fact, this rule was the first to feature reverse polish notation, an important step in modern computing technology.

I closed my eyes moved the cursor around in the vicinity of the numbers and then clicked. It took a couple tries.
I did the same thing and ended up clicking on the advertisements. :shy:

I'm the first to pick 10. I'm awesome!

LowlyPion
Homework Helper
I chose a time of day in seconds, divided by 20, and voted the remainder.

Seems a random choice enough for me.

drizzle
Gold Member
I wanna choose 7 could I, now randomly picking I get 6 [apparently the first to pick it]

lisab
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Well I don't know what the OP's intent was, but for me, it's just pure, pointless, geeky entertainment .

Borek
Mentor
No point IMHO.

No idea what should I vote for. I like 7 as well, but - as I like it - it is not random.

drizzle
Gold Member
No point IMHO.

No idea what should I vote for. I like 7 as well, but - as I like it - it is not random.

just took the words out of my mouth...

hey I've just say so even before you do:tongue:.

drizzle
Gold Member
Well I don't know what the OP's intent was, but for me, it's just pure, pointless, geeky entertainment .

really...

I don't know why the hell I feel stupid now!
:rofl:

I would predict that if you put this poll up on any other forum aside from PF, that is precisely what you would see. I think that the folks here at PF are too aware of these patterns and will actually try to break them. I'm curious to see what pattern might instead emerge...maybe the mirror image of what you were predicting.
Haha exactly! I made sure to not choose 3 or 7.