Numbers and Emotions


Knowledge Question: ‘To what extent can numbers impact our emotions?’

My response:

Numbers is not just a form of language to represent theories and axioms based upon mathematics. It has denotations, but also has profound connotations. For example, Ms.Wilson mentioned an example of ‘911’ during TOK class time. To some groups of people, this number can relate to the phone call number of the fire department. However, to those families and friends of the victims of the September 11 attacks by the Al-Quaeda terrorist group, this number can have an effect of recalling unwanted memories and a sense of sentimentality. From such reason, our emotions can be affected, according to the different background understanding we have for certain numbers.


Can numbers paint a thousand more words than pictures?

First of all, I claim a statement that the commonalities in both numbers and pictures is that, they are both a form of communication. Numbers is a system of language, which allows each individual to stay connected with each other. More importantly, it can be used in different forms of presentations, to appeal to the senses of the audience, and give certain emotions. In comparison, a picture is a graphical display of a visual art, which is not a system of language. However, it does share commonalities with numbers, to the point that the author can communicate with the audience and appeal to their five senses and control their moods. Therefore, I think that both numbers and pictures give the same amount of influence on the audience.


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