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Technical Report: UTEP-CS-13-71

Published in Applied Mathematical Sciences, 2013, Vol. 7, No. 144, pp. 7179-7186.


Both historical and linguistic evidence shows that numbers 20 and 40 played a special role in many traditional numerical systems. The fact that, e.g., the same number 20 appears in unrelated cultures such as Romans and Mayans is an indication that this number must have a general explanation related to human experience. In this paper, we provide a possible explanation of 20 and 40 along these lines: namely, we show that these numbers can be identified as the smallest sample sizes for which we can extract statistically significant information.

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