How much is 6 times 8? Now, name a vegetable

A reader provides me with more evidence on the inefficiency of the human mind's random object generator.

Ask someone to perform some simple mental arithmetic (how much is 16+25? How much is 48 divided by four?) and then ask them to name a vegetable.

I've tried this on seven people so far today, and the answer was always the same: 'carrot'.


  1. michelle Says:

    I tested this on my husband just now. And his answer was "carrot". Is there any reason why?

  2. datacharmer Says:

    Hi Michelle

    No idea! It just seems to work on everyone.

  3. Helena Says:

    I think it's an example of 'prototype theory', where a carrot is just the most 'typical' vegetable in our culture, just as 7 or 3 is the most typical random number, or a chair the most typical piece of furniture.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    My dad said Rutabaga.

  5. Ben Says:

    I said "broccoli"

  6. Anonymous Says:

    my co-worker said Pizza.