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That horrid 10:10 video

Could a modest knowledge of experimental psychology have prevented this? Yes.


How could these intelligent, creative and committed people have misfired so spectacularly? The 10:10 people failed to think about both themselves and their audience properly - assuming that everyone would 'read' their film the way they intended.

The person who has studied introductory experimental psychology might have heard of the false consensus effect one of the many 'cognitive biases' to which we are all subject. The false consensus effect observes that we assume that what we and our friends think is what any sensible person would think.

Of course once you are aware of this tendency, it loses some of its power over your decisions - we have clever and recursive minds. A person aware of this colouration to their thought might have been able to gently question their own confident feeling of "this is great!" and tried out their ideas on a few groups of random citizens.

Urk! Focus groups! Yes, I'm afraid so. If you are doing "pure art" perhaps you do just need to follow your own lights. But this was not pure art - its creators cared that people were moved by it in a particular way

November 2010


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