# Test your mind with this

I just received this in an email. Try it.

This is a test. At the end of this message, you will be asked a question. Answer it immediately. Don not stop to think about it; just say the first thing that comes to your mind.

Follow the instructions as quickly as possible. After performing each calculation, scroll down to the next one. Do not proceed to the next calculation until you have finished the previous one. There is no need to write down or memorize your answers. Just calculate as you go, saying our answer out loud.

How much is:

15 + 6
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3 + 56
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89 + 2
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12 + 53
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75 + 26
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25 + 52
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63 + 32
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You’re doing great. Hang in there. There’s only one more!
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123 + 5
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Quick! Think about a COLOR and a TOOL! Say them out loud.

Scroll down…
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RED HAMMER

If red hammer is not your answer, you are among 2% of people who have a different, if not abnormal, mind. 98% have thought of a red hammer while doing this exercise.

I actually was moving so fast that I didn’t notice the instruction to pick a color. But I did come up with hammer. I’ve re-punctuated things a bit to make the instructions a little more clear.

I’m very curious to know if the calculations have any influence on the image of a red hammer, or if they’re essentially just a distraction to clear the mind. It wouldn’t surprise me that, with a clear mind, most people think of red for a color, and a hammer for a tool.

Then again, one thing I found notable during the exercise was the glaring consistency of odd number answers. Then they slam you with an even number, which has the effect of a hammer to the skull.

Fascinating.

• Lette January 18, 2008, 9:57 am

black hammer (and please don’t give me that black isn’t a color bullshit)

• CBJ January 18, 2008, 10:00 am

blue screwdriver. maybe i need therapy?

• ner January 18, 2008, 10:33 am

red hammer

Woohoo! I’m normal!

• myk now myk January 18, 2008, 10:53 am

black screwdriver

• Kev January 18, 2008, 11:20 am

Green Saw. I coulda told you I am abnormal without having taken this test! Just ask my other voices in my head!

• vincenzo January 18, 2008, 12:24 pm

yellow wrench.

• Brooke January 18, 2008, 1:11 pm

Blue screwdriver, should i start a therapy blog?

• angus January 18, 2008, 1:25 pm

RED WRENCH

RED WRENCH

RED WRENCH

thankfully I do not have a speech impediment. but then again, i am not normal…

• luke January 18, 2008, 2:20 pm

Orange screwdriver. By the looks of things, that statistic is completely made up.

• jaced.com January 18, 2008, 2:29 pm

Or everybody reading this thread has an atypical mind. I can believe that.

• luke January 18, 2008, 2:40 pm

Except you ;-).

It would then imply that their sampling methodology was insufficient. In which case, the statistic is still worthless.

• jaced.com January 18, 2008, 2:47 pm

What’s 98 + 2?

Got it? Good.

Quick! Think of a CANDY BAR and a CARTOON CHARACTER!

• angus January 18, 2008, 2:48 pm

bazooka desperate dan

• luke January 18, 2008, 3:32 pm

Jace, I’m glad you’ve mastered arithmetic up to 100, but statistics will bring in exciting things like variables and correlation. Did you know that 100% of the polled population in my household is male? Crazy, eh?

Sarcastic repartee aside, I can’t believe you’re arguing this point on some mass-email, unsourced game–which you have already seen proven wrong!

• angus January 18, 2008, 3:36 pm

desperate dan. ’nuff said

• jaced.com January 18, 2008, 3:48 pm

@ luke:

I never argued the point of the received email. As a matter of fact, the original email was so sloppily written that it was obviously homegrown. It was also apparently intended as a participatory experiment, where the author requested that people Reply to the message with their answer in the Subject line. I guess the guy’s hoping to round up enough responses to identify a pattern. (Personally, from the tone of the mass email, I suspect it’s probably just a bastardized version of another psychological study.)

The statistics, if that’s what you want to call ’em, are only as legitimate as the original email. They’re based on his “findings so far”. Perhaps it was only twenty Cherokee carpenters at the time. So, yeah. Whatever.

By the way, we’re not the only people talking about this. Here are a couple more conversations:

From Snopes.

From Skeptacles.

In any case, I thought of hammer, as have many. I’m still curious if I’d think of hammer if there were no mathematical calculations involved. It’s not really the red hammer that fascinates me, it’s the use of calculations as a device for distraction. I love the art of magic.

This type of exercise isn’t really anything new. Lots of guys pull off this “Jedi mind trick” really well live, including Criss Angel and David Blaine.

@ angus:

Desperate Dan. We didn’t grow up with him over here in the colonies. It was all Scooby Doo and Road Runner on this side of the Atlantic.

• angus January 18, 2008, 3:53 pm

look, cow pie. period. it’s late for debate (here). drink whisky tonight.

• micah January 19, 2008, 7:42 pm

blue balls….i mean red hammer…i mean….nevermind

• jaced.com January 21, 2008, 2:17 am

I just gave it another shot and came up with camouflage Find and Replace.

• jonny January 24, 2008, 9:02 pm

lime green shovel

• Erica February 17, 2008, 8:01 pm

Green Saw

• Frankie February 22, 2008, 8:29 pm

blue hammer

• Sarah October 4, 2009, 8:55 am

A red iron thick lath… Someone else with the same answer????????

• Aloha March 19, 2012, 1:25 pm

Red Hammer.

Wait, I’m normal.

• Stef December 14, 2013, 11:22 am

They thought I’m dumb I taught of a red skrewdrywer

• ana March 22, 2014, 12:02 pm

yellow shovel

• Laila April 21, 2014, 1:17 am

Lol red saw!!!

ABNORMAL!!!!!!????

• jay May 6, 2014, 3:25 pm

I got orange hammer

• edwin May 7, 2014, 7:31 am

red spanner

• Ariaroo Efe June 15, 2014, 2:48 am

This is so weird. I came up a green hammer. What does it mean?

• Earlene June 25, 2014, 5:17 pm

red hammer, I knew I was ok, its the others !!!

• summer October 19, 2014, 3:06 am

Orange screwdriver I’m not normal okay

• Emil January 4, 2015, 3:22 pm

i thought about a brown shovel =^.^=

• Janayna Velozo January 5, 2015, 4:14 pm

Well.. I thought about a RED HAMMER, but if you look closely everything in the right side of the screen is red, even the links. So, the red color sticks in your head.

Before making the question, there’s a sentence “Hang in there.” and beacause of the word “Hang” is very similar to “Hammer”, which is also a very common tool to think about. So… in the end… you think about a RED HAMMER!

• Nick January 30, 2015, 9:23 pm

Blue Hammer 😅

• Sjl February 3, 2015, 2:16 am

Sky-blue lumber ax. Wow

• Joanne February 20, 2015, 8:22 pm

I said a red screwdriver, does that only make me half abnormal?

• Subzero22 February 24, 2015, 8:03 pm

Well my fav color is black then blue and I came up with blue hammer so I guess I’m somewhat normal lol

• Tattoo Jack October 5, 2015, 4:26 pm

I thought Blue Screwdriver