Pick a Random Number

This Poll is now closed! I have posted answers and my discussion here.

Give me a random number between 1 – 10. That’s it! In the poll on left, pick the first number you think of.

This is part of a small study to see if there is an inherent bias in the selection of numbers. Ideally, with a large number of respondents, we should see that all numbers are equally represented. Is that what the data shows? Lets wait till we get a decent number of responses (~500 +) and see what the data tells us. Come back and revisit in a few weeks.

Please use the “Share This” link on the poll and post to your Facebook page. More responses, better the results.

NB: For those who noticed, the poll program did not permit “0” as a response, thus using “10” as a stand in.

33 thoughts on “Pick a Random Number

Add yours

    1. Thank you Claire for participating, and the gentle nudge.
      I have been grappling with the write-up. The results have been consistent and now I just have to write and explain them.

      Will do soon.

    1. Thank you Usha Yes, I need to now summarize and discuss the results – thanks for the reminder! Hope you guys are doing well. M is in Mumbai if you want to call. Arun

  1. Arun, just took the poll, dont know what it is for. It has been my number all the time. I get up at 8.24am. adds up to 5. Close the store at 7.07 pm, again adds up to 5. Something tells me #5 is a goodluck #. What do you think? Vaman.

    1. Hi Mamu,

      Thank you for entering your preference. It was interesting to see how 5 seems to have infiltrated various aspects of your life. I don’t think I have a certain number I like. or a goodluck number. never really thought about it.

      In a sense the point of the poll was to assess these “preferences or likes” that we associate with a simple number. And most times, it is NOT a conscious decision – it is something we “just” do. Thus when human are asked for a random number, the number we pick is usually based on a cultural or personal preference; unlike the computer which can pick a “random” number.

      Again, thank you and hope all are doing well.


      And see pictures of Meera in a saree! https://arunshanbhag.com/2009/09/16/meera-tai/

    1. John:
      Thanks for taking the poll;

      Applications: What about if your company makes Lottery tickets? Wouldn’t your want to know the selection profile for each digit?

      What applications did you think of?

    1. Hi Shilpa
      Thank you for taking the poll; You can see how the numbers are NOT really uniformly distributed, and there is a strong bias.
      I will have a separate write-up and further explanation by next week.

      Heh Thanks; hope you are all doing well.

  2. When I was in the 12th grade in Bombay, a Math professor asked us to to think of a number between 1 and 10. After we chose a number he told us that typically people who choose the number 7 tend to have a logical / scientific mind. Dont know what his source of information was. But looks like most of your poll participants seem to prefer the number 7.

    1. Interesting. For me 7 is a “lucky number.” It also has some mystical meanings, which have to do with bodily orifices. In the Jewish religion the 7th day is when God rested and is considered more holy than the high holidays and when the two occur together the Sabbath has the priority in both prayer and ritual.

      It will be interesting to see the final results as well as a general profile of the respondents.


      1. Sandy, thank you for that insight! That’s why you observe the Sabbath! now I know! *smacks forehead*

        Looks like you are doing well; and hope the doc’s appointment went well.


    2. Mugda – thank you for taking the poll; 7 and scientific; Shouldn’t it be the opposite, considering there is so much superstition associated with the number 7.

      Appears to have a strong religious associated in the jewish faith.

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