PSYCHOLOGY

A Math Problem That Is Confusing The Internet: Do You Know The Answer?

Date December 14, 2018

For many people, math isn't really their best subject. Some advanced math requires some critical thinking that can almost turn your brain inside out. 

So, when this mathematical equation went viral, it is understandable that people were a little confused. Why? This math problem seemed really simple but the internet can not agree on what the answer is. 

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Internet users were tasked with solving this equation:

6 ÷ 2(1+2) =

Several people had different answers but the most common were 1 or 9. Of course, there were those who thought the answer was 6, 3 and even 0.

So take a minute and try to solve this particular equation. What answers did you come up with?

If you had either 9 or 1, you are part of the majority and the main problem isn't your intelligence but how you were taught to do math. And, no, this esquation does not have two possible answers. There's only one solution. If you came to 9, then congratulations, that's the right answer. 

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Why has this equation caused quite the controversy? Presh Talwalker, the man behind the YouTube channel called Mind Your Decisions, breaks down the explanation in this video. 

He explained that there is an 'old' and a 'new' way to solve this type of problem, so if your answer is 1, then you're solving the equation using the old formula and, if it's 9, you're using the modern method. 

If you could not come up with a correct answer and the equation had you so confused that you gave up, don't be too hard on yourself. Many of us had not had a reason to solve equations like this since we graduated from school.

A Math Problem That Is Confusing The Internet: Do You Know The Answer?pathdoc / Shutterstock.com

Thanks to calculators and search engines, we hardly ever do much in terms of calculations these days, apart from the usual addition and subtraction. However, it can be good to get into that habit again, especially as it can be a good work out for your brain.

There's something thrilling about solving a math equation, even when it's just for fun. So the next time a viral mathematical task like this one comes up, you may be one of the few who would have the correct answer.

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