# Some People just Don't Like Numbers

By edvc77

@edvc77 (2143)

Philippines

November 1, 2012 1:23pm CST

If you were about to ask a child or an adult this question, "What is the product of 8 x 7? " Some would take time to compute or some would say, "I'm sorry. I don't know the answer. I hate Math after all." For some people Math is a difficult subject and for some it is just like a piece of cake. In my opinion, some people do have a hard time computing numbers because they think and admit in themselves that they hate Mathematics. They don't want to study it. As a result, they are slow in computing numbers. Actually, they can make it only if they are enthusiastic to study it. What is your opinion about this?

14 responses

@meowchie (992)

• Philippines

4 Nov 12

True :) I have an office mate who is 33 years old, but doesn't like numbers..
I can see, even if it's small figures like 100 less 37 or etc, she immediately will say "i don't know", "I can't", and people would end up laughing.
I can see she knows, but isn't interested to express that she doesn't know how.
And another thing, I think she is having fun being popular for hating Math which is I am pissed of a little. She doesn't have to humiliate and make herself funny just to be popular -.-
People who says they hate Math honestly knows how, only that they may not be as rapid as those who say they love Math, so they rather choose to say they don't know.

1 person likes this

@subhojit10 (7382)

• India

1 Nov 12

Thanks a ton for sharing this discussion. Well yes u are absolutely right, these numbers have become completely immaterial for today's people who want every thing to happen in quick succession. They have this notion that things should be done quickly and without any use of their own energies. I know for some Mathematics is not their cup of tea and for some it is their profession. We should accept every thing as it comes out way.
What say?

@aireanna18 (1914)

• United States

1 Nov 12

Well, first we must learn to compute the solution to math problems accurately. Once we can accurately solve the math problems; then it is all about finding efficient ways to solve the problem. I do believe that by learning strategies that work for us we add tools to our tool box that allows us to excel at any given task. I mean there was a point in time that all of us thought there is no way that I can do that then, we put some effort into learning the skill, and we became good at it.
Once upon a time, I could have said I cannot build a website that is too complex. Instead, I did research learned different ways of doing it, and now I can I could create a website using WordPress. It all about being open to learning new things, and looking at things with a positive I can do it philosophy in life.

@auwielady (116)

• Philippines

2 Nov 12

Well, I think there are those who are actually gifted when it comes to numbers and there are those who are actually not. I'm not good in Math but I sure did try my best to understand it. I can understand some Algebra and Trigonometry but I can't practically apply it especially if the given problem is already complex and difficult.
I guess you are partly right. But I still think that it is due to our right and left brain's responses. And of course Divine Interventions. lol. :)

@auwielady (116)

• Philippines

2 Nov 12

I really hope effort and practice worked well for me back then. lol. :)

@Asylum (48224)

• Manchester, England

1 Nov 12

I accept that mathematics, as with all subjects, appeals more to some people than it does to others. However, this should only make the subject a little harder to understand and is certainly not a good reason for not bothering to learn the basics.
The two most important subjects in any schooling are mathematics and your own language, since they shall both play a very important part in a person's life irrespective of what kind of profession they choose. It is impossible to live without some mathematical knowledge because simple shopping requires the ability to calculate how much you are spending and what change you should receive. I know that this is an exaggeration because everyone will have that level of knowledge, but the principle applies to a vast number of factors in our lives.
The introduction of calculators has done nothing to help in this situation because they allow people to get by without even the simplest of mathematical knowledge.

@aireanna18 (1914)

• United States

5 Nov 12

I agree that many people do not see the value of learning. I think especially in the United States that we are one of the countries that does not overly value education. Some states domaki care more about education than others. As a society, we need to do something to change the way that education is perceived in our education. I mean making money is higher valued than education, yet how can you get a good job for earning in the economy without a good education?
I think part of the issue is that people do not see the relevance to learning mathematics. Yet, I cannot think of one basic math concept that we do not use on a daily basis. Even things that I learned from Algebra classes I still use those concepts today. Even some of the concepts from a calculus class I have used.
Even it was interesting the other day at Target, I bought something on my Red Card. They had ovCer charged me for a few items, so I had to go up to Customer Service. Since I paid with it on my Red Card that gives me a 5% discount on all my purchases, they had to completely return back the items; then recharge me for them at the correct price because they claimed this was the only way they knew how to fix the issue. Yet, algebra could have been used to just figured out the difference that they need to return rather than having to refund and recharge me for the items.
It amazes me so much that people are so unknowledgeable about mathematics. There are times when the cash register does not tell a person how much cash to give back, and they are lost. I think a lot of the issue is that some people as mentioned above have become so depedent upon technology to tell them what to do that they no longer know how to do basic math. It is so sad.

1 person likes this

@edvc77 (2143)

• Philippines

5 Nov 12

Yes, that is definitely true. We really have to value education. Good education is one of the keys to success and good life. In regards to Algebra, I have read that it is not only to enhance oneself in solving problems but it can lengthen one's self control too. Mathematics is not only important in computing numbers but can help people too exercise some values. I hope some people would change their perception in Math.
Thanks for your explanation. It is of help.
Have a nice day!

@resy21curapika (1934)

• Pasay, Philippines

1 Nov 12

I have 3 simple words to explain how I feel about math: I HATE IT.
I definitely do. I am so stupid in math, I would let my seatmate compute it for me, even the addition/ subtraction thing.
Could be that artistic persons are really bad in Math. Most of my friends tells me this also (as some of them doesn't have the likings in Math) It's like there's a part of our brain only works for creativity but less in these logic stuff which requires counting.
Hate me for being a hater in numbers but you'll surely find it funny when you find out that in my event organizing team, I even got someone who would do the math for me side by side (like a personal accountant) and I just give her the perks and pays later. That's how bad, stupid and lazy I am to calculate numbers.
Hahhahah...It did made me laugh today. Thanks for this topic and for letting me share my thoughts. Happy mylotting.

@aireanna18 (1914)

• United States

5 Nov 12

Yes, depending upon the hemisphere of your brain that is more dominate you may be more creative or logical. Logical people do tend to be better at math, and creative people are more artistic.
It is possible to develop both parts of your brain. This leads to being good at multiple things. Although I can say I am not that good at art, I am good at being creative when it comes to writing. We all have different talents. There are multiple types of intelligences.
This is what I do not understand. Why is it just so easy for people to say that they hate thing? I have always found something to like in most classes that I have taken; although, I do openly admit that Finite Mathematics that dealt with learning to calculate probability was really a challenging subject for me.

@aireanna18 (1914)

• United States

1 Nov 12

Now, the thing that I do not like about numbers. I do not like how society is starting to place more emphasis on the data rather than the individual. People throw numbers around as statistics in a way that many times we lose sight of what those numbers truly represent. Here i my favorite example.
When we talk about standards in education, these are all designed around the average student. The took all the students added them up, and used this data to determine what the average student can perform. This is the standard. Now, this is all done using a bell curve. For the purpose of this discussion, just imagine a hill where in the middle you have the high point and at the two tail ends you have the low points. Now, the middle where the hill or bell curve peaks is the average. This is what they say every child should know in school for their given age group. At one extreme tail end, you have those that we consider gifted. At the other extreme tail end we have those that we consider mentally retarded. Now, he is the part that I love! The cut off point for what makes a student gifted and what makes a student mentally retarded is the same they are just at either end of the bell curve. That means lets just say for example that the cut off point is 3 standard deviations from the mean. The means is another word for the average. Just imagine the center peak portion of that hill. Now if you move 3 standard deviations (just think of standard deviations as a unit of measurement for simplicity) to the right you have the gifted child, whereas move 3 standard deviations to the left you have the child that is considered mentally retarded. Here is the question what is that makes one of these labels that children receive more desirable than the other.
Think about it if you are average it is like saying you fit with this clump of students. You are gifted you are in with this group of students. If you are mentally retarded, you are over here in this group. Yet, it all comes down to the much simpler concept of individuality. Not everyone is the same. We are all different. Yet, societies education system has tried to go with the one size fits all model of developing the standards to the standard child rataher than tailoring education to the child's individual needs.
Now, I know this is not the case in all countries. I have done research and France actually has an education system that is tailored to the individual student.
Now, that you know this little annodate of how numbers cause us to label and judge people. You may think of numbers in a different way or you may think of one more reason to dislike numbers altogether.

@edvc77 (2143)

• Philippines

1 Nov 12

Excellent metaphor here. I like what you have said about "tailoring education." I hope every educator would tailor and develop every student regardless of the intelligence they have. That is what education means. Hoping too that this will be introduced in our education system. You are a good teacher. Hope to see you around here at mylot.
Have a nice day!

@aireanna18 (1914)

• United States

1 Nov 12

The sad part is that there is so much we could learn if we could only accept as a nation that we do not know best! I mean this. I think America is the teenage nation. We are the country who is always saying our way is better. You should do it like us. We never for a moment stop to take a look at what is working in other countries. Open your eyes America, and see what other countries can teach us. These other countries are much older than America. We could learn some good lessons from our wise elders if we could only swallow our own egos.
If we do get someone that looks to other models of doing something in politics, they are soon made ineffective as politicians due to being to radical. Whether or not you like Obama or support his political party, a lot of the issues where that his ideas to much followed the model of a socialist economy. That scaredother politicians, so everyone started to fit back. What is wrong with models of socialist economies. I mean look at Europe they still have open markets in their economy, yet they have socialism that looks out for the welfare of all. After all don't we all benefit from everyone having insurance? Think about it if the people living in our nation are healthy because they get regular health screenings and doctors visits that is going to save a lot on the whole medical coss for everyone. We also benefit from having healthy individuals that are productive members of society.

@aireanna18 (1914)

• United States

1 Nov 12

Well, I have to admit that even as I was reading your discussion question my brain automatically computed that the answer to 8 x 7 = 56. I have always been good calculating the answer to basic math problems in my head. I can even keep a running total of approximately how much money I am spending on groceries without a calculator. There have been times this has really helped like when I am shopping at Target. I do like shopping at Target, but there has been a few times that the total just did not make sense. It was because I could do quick math in my head, and keep a ball park running total for the items that I was purchasing in my head. Knowing basic math skills is very much a life skill with a lot of real world applications. Perhaps, these examples will help motivate some people to see the purpose in learning to solve basic math problems.
The issue to why people do not like math is that we have been taught to memorize facts rather than learning number sense. This is one of the pitfalls that education has encountered in the past. Well, finally, we are switching over to Common Core Math Standards that embrace people learning number snese, and base 10 strategies that make math a lot easier.
No
Here is the trick to math. It all comes down to visualizing the problem. You can take a problem apart in various ways. Let's take your example that you posted here of 8 x 7 = __. WhenI might not remember the facts for 8s or 7s on the multiplication table. I may solve the problem using what I do know, and I will give a few different scenarios down below.
1. I know my 10s facts. This is one of the easiest for everyone to remember, and it is easy to count by 10s. Now you may say how is that going to help me to solve this problem it is 8 x 7 = ___. Well it takes a little application, but once you see how to break this number apart you may start to find math a little bit cooler.
10 x 7 = 70 Now, I know this one it is easy, and I can do it in a snap. Even if I do not automatically know the fact, I could quickly count by tens. So, I know that the answer to 8 x 7 has to be less than 70, and if you are taking a multiple choice test, then you can cross out any choices with an answer greater than 70. Now, I have to figure out how much less is 8 x 7 in comparison to 10 x 7. Well this is pretty easy if I remember the definition of multiplication. Multiplication is all about having an equal number of objects in a given set. Okay, I need to compare these so I am going to look at this way. Both 10 x 7 and 8 x 7 have 7 objects in the given amount of sets. Next, I am going to consider how many more sets are in 10 x 7 than my given problem of 8 x 7. Well, this is pretty simple I look at the number of sets in my problem 8 x 7. The number of sets is 8. Now, I am going to count up from 8 to 10 to find the difference between 8 and 10. I can quickly count starting at 8, I would count 9, 10. The difference between 8 x 7 and 10 x 7 is two sets. Now, I have to recall how many objects are in each given set. I review the problem and see that there are 7 objects in the given set. Next, I will need to multiply 2 x 7 to find the difference between 10 x 7 and 8 x 7. 2 x 7 = 14. This is generally another easy answer to find because it is very easy to skip count by two if you do not already know the fact. Now, it is a simple subtraction problem of 70 - 14. I know that I have 7 tens minus one ten, so I know the answer is going to be less than 6 tens, which I can easily compute by count by 10s. Now, I have to figure out how much 60 - 4 is going to equal. Well, I have a few options. I could recall that half of ten is 5. So if I go half way between 60 and 70, I know it will be 65. Well, I need to subtract 4 not five, so what is the difference between a five and a four? That is simple the difference is one, so 55 + 1 = 56.
I was going to give a second example of how to solve this problem, but seeing as this post is already pretty long. I'll leave it at the single example. Here is what to remember math is all about how you visualize the problem. Yes, you can break the numbers apart in different ways to create easy ways for you to solve the problem. Math does not have to be complicated or difficult. You just need a basic understanding of number sense and how the mathematical operations of addition, subtraction (which you could also think of as adding negative numbers), multiplication (which is simply repeated addition), and division (which is repeated subtraction). Truthfully, if you are strong in both addition and subtraction you have the tools to solve any type of basic math problem. You just need to know how to apply this knowledge and skill, so that you can easily visualize the simplest way to solve the problem. In a way, math is all about critical think. Once, you understand number sense you will never think of math as an abstract concept again because truthfully it is very straight forward when you can visualize the problem. Many people are very visual so this strategy works great.
By the way, I taught students with learning disabilities the concept of number sense. You should have seen how it transformed their opinions of math. They went from hating math, and thinking that it was too hard. Too very face lighting up with delight with how smart they were for solving the problems. They even where able to explain how they got their answers, which is truly demonstrates that they fully understood the concept. It is all about changing your perception of math. Well, I hope this post has been enlightening and empowers you to challenge your perspective that math is hard or that you are not good at it.

@edvc77 (2143)

• Philippines

1 Nov 12

Thanks for your effort of explaining this discussion. It is really the perception that matters. Some may actually answer the problems in different ways but their minds say I don't like it and I cannot do it. There must be a change of perception. I would like also to congratulate you for teaching effectively with students with learning disbilities. It is a great work. Thanks too.
God Bless!

@aireanna18 (1914)

• United States

1 Nov 12

Well, I was reading something very interesting about what the word hate really means when it comes to a subject. Hate means that students are afraid. Why are they afraid because they feel that they are not good at the skill. Think about it many times the things that we hate are the tasks that we find difficult. THings that come easy to us we tend to love to do. So, it really is more about learning the strategies of how to be proficient in the skill that is the secret to changing the perception from hate to something that we enjoy.

@narnia007 (1051)

• India

2 Nov 12

Of course,only if they have interest,they can make up quickly in maths.But anyway,IQ level varies for every individual and hence every person would be different in their approach to maths.In the beginning,lower IQ people would be slow and hence would be frustrated that his mate is good at maths and end up hating maths.But if the same person would have all the will and interest to do hard work and get the things to learn by himself,he would also become equally competent with all the high IQ guys.In my opinion,the way that a child is brought up from the very beginning would shape his IQ and thus would impact every other thing in his life.

@Raine38 (9195)

• United States

2 Nov 12

I admit that math isn't really my favorite subject back in school because I'm not good with it. I struggle to learn it and have average grades. But surprise, surprise! I ended up having a career that deals with a lot of numbers, lol!
I think I was able to survive math and end up living harmoniously with it by learning the basics. Once I got the basics down pat, I am not that "scared" anymore to tackle math problems. Lots of those mathematical equations really look complicated and sometimes I swear they seemed to me as if they're written in an alien language haha! But if you have a good foundation of the basics, you'll be able to break it down to "human readable format" and solve it step by step.

@stealthy (8188)

• United States

1 Nov 12

Math is an important part of everyday life. But it is also something that one must keep using to maintain being good at it. I was always very good with math up until I started using calculators(showing my age here) a lot and then I slowly lost some of my abilities. I am much slower at estimating if the total price at the grocery checkout is about right or not than I used to be which means I sometimes miss errors that I wouldn't have missed many years ago. People should have to learn math just like they should have to learn to read but unfortunately schools are too busy promoting kids in the lower grades who are not doing either at the proper level to be moved on because of the political pressure from liberals and teacher unions. Then they wonder why states like mine have a high drop out rate in high school. When I was a kid I could add a column of five digit numbers as fast as I could move my finger down the page; I did it for my Father's expense account since he traveled a lot. I can't do that any more since I was about 12 then and I'm in my sixties now and have been ruined by using calculators which actually take longer than what it took me to do it then. One problem today is that kids are afraid of math because many years ago the "new math" was introduced as a way of teaching it and it was not a good change especially at the grade levels were it was introduced. Also, kids should have to do without calculators and computers until they are comfortable with math. That would make them less afraid of it and much better at using it.

@aireanna18 (1914)

• United States

5 Nov 12

I agree that we do have to contine to use the skills that we have learned to maintain our sharpness at performing these skills. PerI sonally, I do not use calculators that often. Especially if it is easy numbers that I can easily calculate. If I want exact percentages or something I may use Excel or pull out the calculator on my cell phone. I round things a lot to make them easy. Honestly, I feel that it actually takes longer to calculate things using a calculator than just to do it by hand. Plus, the thing with calculators is that the answer is only as accurate as what you input, so if you make an error inputting the numbers the answer that comes out could be incorrect if you accidentally pushed the wrong button.
I generally do a pretty good job keeping track of how much I am spending when shopping, so I generally can easily catch errors at the store. Also, I am pretty good at figuring out the discounts like 40% off, and such when clothes shopping. The only part that I am not that good about is figuring out the tax. With tax rates increasing sometimes I am actually surprised how much the sales tax will come to on the bill.

@asliah (11148)

• Philippines

10 Dec 12

hi,
actually math was one of my hated subject when i was studying,because it needs many formulas and process before we get the correct answer and once that your formula is not correct then your answer will be wrong too,maybe if we will focus on this and study and understand it then maybe we can also love this subject.

@valorieesquilona (442)

• Philippines

2 Nov 12

If you hate things, you will never ever would love to learn them. Mathematics is really a difficult subject but I think people should know even just the basics. We all have to know how to count and do simple arithmetic because numbers, whether we like it or we don't, are very important.

@challs12 (549)

• Malaysia

2 Nov 12

I think not many people very good or like math. As far as I remember, in my class when at school, many student fail in math. It's very common to see student fail in this subject and the other on English subject. But on the other side, I see most student who smart in math can have good score in their English and student who smart in English can just pass the math paper with average. I think there are relation between how our brain work. I have read somewhere that when doing math or technical matter, our left brain will be used and when doing language or talking, our right brain is used.
I previously always have A score in my math paper. I just very fair with figure. Previously, when I work as an auditor, I can do calculation using calculator very fast. I can type numbers in my calculator for summing the total of 1 meter long balance sheet items very fast and without a single mistake in first try. I though I just very good with figure. But recently, I met with someone who just too far better than me with figure and math. He has formula on every multiply problems. He is a math professor and math genius. I remember he taught me how to solve math problem by just adding some figure to the number in the question to get the answer. It really work and using his formula, we can just answer math problem very fast, it's like we have calculator in our head. But now, I have forgot his formula he told me.