# Do people always think of the same vegetable?

Think of the number six. Now - name a vegetable!

It is claimed that people, when asked for a random vegetable, will typically pick the same one.

(Spoiler below. Once you have guessed, click or hover over the box below.)

carrot

Claim examples:

• This online exercise claims 98% do, when primed with the word "six".
• WikiHow claims 90% carrot, 2% broccoli as second choice, and then, confusingly, 8% lettuce as third - again when primed with "six".
• This redditor says, anecdotally, 90%, when prepared with random arithmetic questions.
• This blogger got 7 out of 7 carrots, after using an arithmetic question.
• This contributor to ScienceChatForum did a controlled experiment to show neither the "six" priming nor arithmetic questions were necessary, with a 92% of 60 runs answering carrot.
• These magic trick instructions claim people normally choose carrot, and don't use arithmetic nor make a claim about frequency.

Is this phenomenon true? If so, what is the scientific explanation?

Disclosure: It worked for me. I'm among the 98% majority according to the first site.

• I have heard this fact before, and used it in childish magic tricks. The priming with "six" is not required. It didn't work with me here, because I knew what was expected of me, and was sure to choose another. Feb 11, 2012 at 11:22
• @Green Noob - Agreed... Corrected. I suspect a Kiki/Bouba-effect. "Six" has a sharp sound. Feb 11, 2012 at 11:34
• I wish you'd mentioned six in the title, I immediately thought of "asparagus". Now I'll never know what I'd have thought of if I'd had that primer :( Feb 11, 2012 at 15:40
• if it were true, it would hardly be random :) Feb 12, 2012 at 7:42
• @Sklivvz I disagree. For a question like this, I think it would be fair to allow users to have an unbiased shot at the test so that they could verify the effect (if any) by themselves. Feb 12, 2012 at 15:47