thread: 2010-03-01 : Reliable vs Unreliable Currency

On 2010-03-02, Simon C wrote:

People in general are, I believe, poor at compartmentalising.  I think that people find it pretty hard to make a decision based on a strict set of criteria, without considering other factors.  People will even rationalise after the fact to justify their decision, and not be aware that they're doing it.

So if you're deciding whether Bob has the higher ground or not, and it's an edge case, you're going to be influenced by how the decision will affect Bob's chances of success, how much you want Bob to succeed, whether Bob's player has been pissing you off recently, and all kind of other things.  Also, this influence will be largely subconscious.

For this reason, I think it's wise in design to do two things:

Make judgements categorical, rather than quantitative.  You get fewer edge cases if you're deciding if a situation fits into one of two categories, rather than where it fits in a range of 1 to 10.

Make the benefits obscure, intangible, or delayed.  If success or failure is riding on your judgement of the situation, you're going to be more influenced by that than anything else.  If the impact of your decision is hard to judge, or will not be felt immediately, it's easier to make a decision on just the appropriate criteria.


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