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Colts vs. who?! Or Watching For Your Biases

02.09.10 | Permalink | Comment?
Gotta admit, I know nothing about football. Our family’s sports fanatic is Robert, my brother-in-law. As I arrived at his place, my first question was “who’s playing”. Yeah, that’s how knowledgeable I am. It turns out that sometimes ignorance is, indeed, bliss.
When the score became 24-17 in the Saints favor, I told Robert that the game was over.
Robert: “No way, all the Colts need is a touchdown”.
Me: “It doesn’t look like they will score a touchdown”.
Robert: “These are the Colts [italics], they will score a touchdown for sure [italics], there is plenty of time left”.
Me: “Hmmm, I don’t know, they don’t look like that they have the fire in the belly.”
And they didn’t score. I was able to see it precisely because of my ignorance, and hence my lack of bias.
I won’t go on and on about how bias can affect your judgement about your own designs and user interface, except to say this: be aware of it, we all have it and it can mislead.

Gotta admit, I don’t know anything about football. Our family’s sports fanatic is Robert, my brother-in-law. As I arrived at his place, my first question was “who’s playing”. Yeah, that’s how knowledgeable I am. It turns out that sometimes ignorance is, indeed, bliss.

When the score became 24-17 in the Saints favor, I told Robert that the game was over.

Robert: “No way, all the Colts need is a touchdown”.

Me: “It doesn’t look like they will score a touchdown”.

Robert: “These are the Colts, they will score a touchdown for sure, there is plenty of time left”.

Me: “Hmmm, I don’t know, they don’t like they have the fire in the belly.”

And they didn’t score. I was able to see the likely outcome precisely because of my ignorance, and hence my lack of bias.

I won’t go on and on about how bias can affect your judgement about your own designs and user interface, except to say this: be aware of it, we all have it and it can mislead.

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