Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Acid Test on Point of Views

Referring to my previous entry, Point of Views, I mentioned that could we devise an acid test to see how our point of views would change (or wouldn't) if the scenario changed. This could help us (and help myself too) identify how impartial we are, or help identify that in reality, there is a certain amount of expectations shaping our reactions and like Mukmin mentioned : the mind forms a logical structure of those who read the comments, as long as they feel the same or similar "pain" or "are in the same wavelength" and when there's more of the same wavelength comments the mind tricks you to think "It must be true!"

Let's take the original article, Malaysia ranked 12th most business-friendly country: World Bank and test out the acid test I'm devising on the fly after much thought and ponder.

  1. When you first ONLY read the TITLE of the article, how did you FIRST react
    1. That's good news
    2. Great news, even world bank acknowledges Malaysia is taking steps to improve!
    3. What a joke.
    4. Cannot be la, maybe someone bribed World Bank to give us good rankings.
    5. Let me read the whole article.
  2. Did you read the whole article?
    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Scanned thru
  3. Did you google / search for the original World Bank article to understand the parameters used?
    1. Yes
    2. No
  4. Now, imagine if the headlines read " Malaysia's ranking has DROPPED in most business-friendly country: World Bank". How would you react
    1. That just one indicator, rest show we are doing good.
    2. Can't trust World Bank, they have their propaganda
    3. Expected 
    4. What a joke, it's confirmed even by World Bank that Malaysia is screwing up.
    5. Let me read thru the whole article.

So here's my thoughts, if Mr X chose
  •  1.2 and 4.2 : Mr X is contradicting himself. For something Mr X wants to hear, the news is good and World Bank is a reliable source. But when the report is negative, somehow World Bank became untrustworthy.
  • 1.4 & 4.4 : Very much same as above assessment wouldn't you agree?
  • 1.1 & 4.1 OR 1.3 & 4.3 - might have a level of inclination already, and usually sees what they want to see. 
  • For all the above, I'm guessing mostly Mr X wouldn't have read the whole news article. 
How about the other combinations? How many actually read the actual World Bank report?

How would you assess if Mr X chose 1.2 & 4.4 or 1.1 & 4.3? My thoughts? I would think they have the least preset of assumptions and expectations before reading the articles. Or maybe they managed to separate reactions from expectations.

Well, let's call the above the Lukman Iqbal Impartiality Acid Test V1.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Point of Views

I've recently been thinking about point of views. Why would just one statement look different to so many people. Like the adage saying goes, Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This is partly due to the 'effects of expectation' which Dan Ariely wrote about in his book Predictably Irrational. Among others, expectations shape stereotypes.

Why is it just one statement or a newspaper article results into many many interpretations and comments, sometimes 180' in contrast?

Here's one very interesting example Malaysia ranked 12th most business-friendly country: World Bank , which appeared in a few portals / news. Now just looking at this statement, how would you react? Please comment. Here's an examples of reactions I've seen so far.

Mr A: What a joke.... My tuition centre has been waiting the licensing support letter from district health office for 2 months
Mr B: Malaysia is actually pretty friendly to foreign investors (you are better off not being Malaysian to invest in Malaysia...). Japan has a particularly problem with opening up their domestic market.
Mr C: it means songlap (embezzlement) to da max.
Mr D:  over here, biz can move faster and everything can get done with money...
Mr E: Congratulation to all, we have achieved something good at international front. But, let us also remind ourselves that we have al ot to improve on our domestic ranking, likes Crimes index
Mr F: Good news... only from other news portals.. not from Malaysiakini...Malaysiakini only can do "FITNAH
Mr G:  I go to USA regularly and things are really bad there. I am so glad that I am a Malaysian and our economy is under control. go to USA regularly and things are really bad there. I am so glad that I am a Malaysian and our economy is under control.
Mr H: And there is another report on yahoo as well that Malaysia economy growth is the slowest among Aseans, at 4.4 2012 and 4.7 2013. Ask any business on the streets, and they will tell you business is slow and has slowed down significantly, . Sadly It has been under performing year , Now don't give excuse that our under performance was due to economy crisis in Europe cos Indonesia economy growth was published at six percent and Philippines..

AND SO ON... above are actual excerpts. So how? What's up?

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