Don’t spot the pattern

If I write 2 then 4 then 6, then we feel good because we know that next comes 8. We can foresee it. We are not in the hands of destiny. Unfortunately, however, this has nothing to do with truth. – Arthur Seldom, The Oxford Murders (movie)

If you watched the movie The Oxford Murders then you’ll know of the futility of trying to guess the next number in a sequence. On my blog J delta rho I have placed a little rant about asking people to spot patterns. Here are the first few lines:

I remember getting questions at school of the form “which number comes next?” At the time I thought these questions were perfectly normal. I now think they are nonsensical. As such it troubles me to see similar questions (with diagrams rather than numbers) are being used in psychometric assessments.

Read more here.

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