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Wed, 24 Oct 2012 17:00:00 PDT
DailyDirt: Logarithmic Thinking Is Natural
Michael Ho
https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20091026/1207146679/dailydirtlogarithmicthinkingisnatural.shtml
https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20091026/1207146679/dailydirtlogarithmicthinkingisnatural.shtml
Ask second graders to map out a few numbers on a blank line from 1 to 1,000  and you'll see that 7yo kids tend to space out the numbers in a logarithmic pattern. Fourth graders won't make the same number line map as these second graders, and it's apparently not too hard to unlearn logarithmic scales since many adults don't remember what a log scale graph is. [url]
RadioLab has a nice podcast about how kids learn their numbers, switching from logarithmic thinking to more linear thinking. Young kids and even infants notice large changes (such as when quantities double), but they're not so good at exact amounts and small differences. [url]
It's not just little kids. Some cultures think in logarithmic scales  such as an Amazonian indigene group, the Mundurucu. Actually, logarithmic thinking may lie dormant in all of us, whenever we estimate quantities or deal with extremely large numbers. [url]
What number is halfway between 1 and 9? Most formally educated adults say 5, but another answer (from kids) is 3. [url]
If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post.
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