28-05-2021 17:33 | |

gfm7175★★★★★ (2189) |
Some schools must mistakenly teach the PEMDAS acronym in a manner where "multiplication must be done before division" and "addition must be done before subtraction"... That's not how I was taught. I was taught that M&D were on an equivalent level and performed from left to right, and that A&S were on an equivalent level and likewise performed from left to right. |

28-05-2021 19:21 | |

IBdaMann★★★★★ (9345) |
I think the intended trick to this question is the "self-imposed limitation" whereby the reader mistakenly imposes an additional set of parentheses. i.e. the problem reads 8/2(2+2) but the reader mentally sees 8/(2(2+2)) ... which is more or less what you wrote. It might not be anything more complicated than the reader not looking at it correctly. At this point I'm tempted to note that if I were someone who was susceptible to making mistakes that I might have gotten it wrong as well ... but I'd rather just keep my explanation grounded in reality. |

28-05-2021 19:38 | |

gfm7175★★★★★ (2189) |
That's quite possible. In that case, even people who know better could mistakenly come up with a "1" answer instead of a "16" answer. Good point. |

28-05-2021 21:48 | |

Xadoman★★★☆☆ (514) |
I was taught to make the multiplication before the division. My initial answer was 1. And I am not alone. Some even get 6 for answer. |

28-05-2021 23:00 | |

IBdaMann★★★★★ (9345) |
You were taught incorrectly. Multiplication and division are performed left to right, as you would read words on a page. You don't shift words around due to any sort of precedent, nor do you shift the order of multiplication and division. Left -> Right
Now try it again. I bet you get different results this time.
The reason we have the term "common misunderstanding" is that some misunderstandings are common.
The reason we have unemployment offices is because there are people who somehow get "6" when computing 8/2(2+2) (although this might just be a typo when trying to type "16" which would be correct). |

28-05-2021 23:15 | |

Into the Night★★★★★ (15685) |
It's done left to right. You can find the priority in the specifications for several programming languages (especially procedural languages). Priority is negations, exponents, division/modulation/multiplication (all the same priority), then addition/subtraction. Parenthesis are used to override. In some systems, such as postfix notation, there are no parenthesis and order is strictly left to right. In prefix notation, the order follows strict nesting and is otherwise left to right. Most folks might remember postfix notation on the HP (Reverse Polish Notation) calculators. Most math these days is written in infix notation, using the left/right and priorities discussed. The Parrot Killer Debunked in my sig. - tmiddleskeepitnuclear powered ships do not require nuclear fuel. - Swan |

28-05-2021 23:20 | |

Into the Night★★★★★ (15685) |
Quite right. Infix notation in mathematics is common because most languages are infix in their construction, including those in Europe and the States. In Asia, it's been an interesting trip for them, since Chinese and Japanese are postfix languages. The math notation they now use is inherited from Europe and the States, which is usually in infix notation. Thus, the math notation they use is 'unnatural' for them. They cope with it pretty well, though. The Parrot Killer Debunked in my sig. - tmiddleskeepitnuclear powered ships do not require nuclear fuel. - Swan |

28-05-2021 23:44 | |

gfm7175★★★★★ (2189) |
Then you were taught incorrectly.
Indeed you aren't.
I have no idea how anyone would manage to come up with that. According to the order of operations, the answer is 16. |

29-05-2021 00:42 | |

Xadoman★★★☆☆ (514) |
have no idea how anyone would manage to come up with that. According to the order of operations, the answer is 16. Maybe this way: 8/2x2+2x2=8/4+4=6 |

29-05-2021 00:59 | |

IBdaMann★★★★★ (9345) |
I remember back when I was learning Farsi (just out of curiosity/interest). I thought it was very strange indeed that they read/write from right to left but numbers are written from left to right as we write them in English. When I asked why they did it that way I got the shoulder-shrug. |

29-05-2021 01:15 | |

Into the Night★★★★★ (15685) |
Sounds about right! I get the same thing with Japanese. The Parrot Killer Debunked in my sig. - tmiddleskeepitnuclear powered ships do not require nuclear fuel. - Swan |

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