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Thinking like a scientist

Our first appreciation of thinking like a scientist
Number cruncher
Ok, we have finally arrived at a place where we can put some of what we have learnt into practice and engage with a short experimental task.

We can begin to get a better sense of what it is to think like a scientist by engaging with a web app that examines your ability to uncover a simple numerical rule. The aim is to recover what the rule is behind generating a sequence of three numbers. The rule has been used to generate the sequence

2 4 6

On every trial you will be asked to type in three numbers, and the computer will respond as to whether the sequence you have typed conforms to the rule. You should repeatedly test your understanding by typing in different sequences. Once you think you have discovered the rule then stop and write down the rule.

However, and this is critical…

Only write down the rule when you are highly confident that you have discovered the rule and not before. It may also help to keep a record of the sequences you have typed and whether they conform to the rule.

Here is a direct link to the web app

and here is the link to copy into a new web tab:-

Cautionary note

This simple app will run on a smartphone, but it is far easier to use on a larger computer screen.

Amber Alert

The answer to the puzzle is contained in the next step. So please have a play with the app before you move on. You might also want to ask a friend to have a go whilst you see what they do.

© The University of York
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Introduction to Cognitive Psychology: An Experimental Science

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