Tuesday, February 14, 2006


I argued yesterday (paraphrasing) that civic misunderstanding is often a bigger problem than we realise.

Pootergeek reports:

"The researchers took 30 pairs of undergraduate students and gave each one a list of 20 statements about topics like campus food or the weather. Assuming either a serious or sarcastic tone, one member of each pair e-mailed the statements to his or her partner.

The partners then guessed the intended tone and indicated how confident they were in their answers.

Those who sent the messages predicted that nearly 80 percent of the time their partners would correctly interpret the tone. In fact the recipients got it right just over 50 percent of the time."

Not easy, this explaining-stuff lark, is it?

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