ELI5, why is the scale for how good something is x/5?


Why do we measure things out of five? Like, 5 star hotels or restaurants? Why is it five and not, say, 37?

In: 0


Not everything uses this scale but it is quite common for internet reviews. I’d say it’s probably because it lines up well with these subjective values…

1 – poor

2 – fair

3 – neutral

4 – good

5 – excellent


People are bad at math so small numbers are easy to understand. It also is like the A,B,C,D,F scale that people are used to in school. Also, most scales don’t go above 10 because you would reduce them, e.g. 10/20 is the same as 5/10. There is no point to higher numbers.

It’s not always. We have many different ranking systems. Movies are often rated out of 10. Gymnastics are rated with decimal point precision. YouTube rates things out of 2, like or dislike. You’re thinking of one rating system and thinking it’s the only one.

Why not 37 though? Because 37 isn’t good to divide by. What percentage of 37 is 22? Idk about 60. It’s hard to estimate if your scale is out of 37.