There’s Math, Then There is Amazon Math

OK, so this is not so much about wireless, but lots of us use Amazon. Last night I came across a little peculiarity on the website that bothered me greatly (for whatever reason), so I thought I’d share in case anyone else finds themselves in the same spot.

Let’s talk about math just a bit.

There is traditional math that us geezers use, where individual numbers simply “add up”. Like 3+1=4 and 5+12=17.

Then there’s new-tangled Common Core-style bullshit math with it’s gratuitous, mind-numbing complexity:

08066E73-456F-489D-9D78-86FE34B19261Finally, there is Amazon math… look at the number of stars here and the math that goes with them. What’s odd?


I’m gonna use a little Geezer math to state my case- where I come from, when 5 (the one 5-star rating for this product) is averaged with 1 (the single 1 star rating), the maths generally play out thusly:

5 + 1 = 6.
Then, 6 divided by 2 (because there were 2 values) = 3

So… we are looking at a 3-star product, based on the available data- yes? But look again… Amazon says this product get’s a bonus half-star on top of what simple geezerology would award it.

Hmmm. So Amazon is using some other method to assign ⭐️ values in it’s reviews, and what we may think is the factual black-and-white result of individual reviews being aggregated is not the case.

So what gives? The answer is even more complex than Bob the Orange Triangle- let me refer you to Wired Magazine’s detailed explanation.

Live and learn…

1 thought on “There’s Math, Then There is Amazon Math

  1. Justin

    I’m thinking the half star comes from the number of reviewers. 63% 5 stars and 37% 1 stars. Looking at it from that perspective would say that it’s weighted and the 1 star is weighted at approx 1/3 and the 5 star is weighted at 2/3 of the score. If it was even numbers of say 100 5 star and 1 star then it would be a 3 star rating. If it was a 66 5 star and 33 1 star then I would probably be a 4 star rating.


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