Innovative Thinking – How Many “F”s – Blog 016

The correct answer is 6.  There are 6 “F”s.  It is very likely you got a different number, probably less than 6.  It’s difficult to count the number of “F”s that follow the letter “O” as in the word “OF”.

When our brain processes the word “OF”, it thinks “OV”, not “OF”, so it skips that “F” in the count.  You can’t even trust your own brain.  It’s like the old joke about a cheating husband who is caught by his wife in beds with his lover and he yells, “It’s not what you think! Are you going to believe me or your own eyes!”  If he was yelling about the number of “F”s, he’d be right!

A solution to solving this is to read it backward.  Start at the end and slowly process the letter towards the beginning.  This way it is less likely your brain will lock on the pattern of the word and decide whether or not it should be considered

Here’s a fun tip.  Do you want to solve maze puzzles faster than anyone?  Start at the end of the maze.  The mazes were designed to be difficult to solve when you start where they tell you to.  It was designed that way.  If you start at the end, you will find in most cases, you can draw a single line right back to the starting position.  Try it with the maze below.  Just use your eyes to trace the route through the maze.

Lon Safko
Serial Innovator, Keynote Speaker, Trainer, Innovative Thinking

Tags: innovative thinking, creative, creative thinking, Innovation, critical thinking definition, innovation definition, critical thinking skills, creative process

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