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Why is addition easier than subtraction?

 
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cookling



Joined: 08 Sep 2006
Posts: 5
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 9:26 pm    Post subject: Why is addition easier than subtraction? Reply with quote

Why is addition easier than subtraction? Just curious..
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EngineeringProfessor



Joined: 07 Sep 2006
Posts: 77

PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 3:06 am    Post subject: Re: Why is addition easier than subtraction? Reply with quote

cookling wrote:
Why is addition easier than subtraction? Just curious..


It isn't, you just think it is Wink

Psychologically, we are "programmed" to accumulate rather than divest. As such, we start with accumulating and then learn to take away. Algorithmically, i.e., arithmetically, there is no difference.

Also, remember Mrs. Addalot's first grade class? She taught that the number line goes to the right for positive numbers and to the left for negative. Left in Latin is sinistra, which is the root for sinister, or evil. Ask a lefty if this is a right oriented world. So, we associate adding with what is right and subtracting with what is wrong. Examples abound...
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cookling



Joined: 08 Sep 2006
Posts: 5
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 4:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, sir! I suspected it only seems easier. Yet most children see it that way, I know I did. Maybe teachers today have better ways of presenting these two first tasks.
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EngineeringProfessor



Joined: 07 Sep 2006
Posts: 77

PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cookling wrote:
Thank you, sir! I suspected it only seems easier. Yet most children see it that way, I know I did. Maybe teachers today have better ways of presenting these two first tasks.


Yes, indeed it seems easier. In fact, we make it easier by assuming that a quantity is positive, where we must annotate a negative with a minus sign. As soon as that negative appears we panic! Our minds have to readjust to that "sinister" side of the number line and we find it uncomfortable. Teachers are far from immune from this effect and even serve to maintain it--after all, they are only human Wink
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eltonyo



Joined: 02 Nov 2005
Posts: 88
Location: WA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes...indeed.

this would explain the simple fact that our national deficit keeps growing and growing and growing. its much simpler to just "add" on some "borrowed" (red) money.

of course, this may also explain why democrats (who have a brain that functions on a higher evolutionary level), do a much better job at something we engineers call... "subtraction!"

history (in america)... is clear on this matter:

http://www.lafn.org/politics/gvdc/Natl_Debt_Chart-2004an.gif
http://zfacts.com/p/318.html
http://zfacts.com/p/480.html

yeah.... uh huh.... it all makes sense now.

(warm poopy "leftist" smile... with a large developed frontal lobe... that has developed the concept of "subtraction".... in this thing we call..... LIFE!!!!!)

Smile


p.s. my opinions... of course.... are trans-fat free and contain 3 grams of fortified omega-3 fatty acids.
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youngcook



Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Posts: 97
Location: GA

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Addition is easier. With addition, no carrying over( whatever the heck that stuff is called) as with subtraction in: 323-128=195 compared to: 123+123=146 Big smile
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robinbolt



Joined: 03 Dec 2010
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 6:27 am    Post subject: interestring Reply with quote

interesting... its human nature we are greedy we like to take more and more and we dont give Big smile ""Mrs. Addalot's first grade class? She taught that the number line goes to the right for positive numbers and to the left for negative.""" this take me back to my golden days love them Smile
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Dude111



Joined: 23 Sep 2010
Posts: 108

PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the site Smile

Quote:
Psychologically, we are "programmed" to accumulate rather than divest. As such, we start with accumulating and then learn to take away. Algorithmically, i.e., arithmetically, there is no difference.

I also believe this may be why (Easier for our brains to manage)
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