“Order! Order, Honorable Educators!” The lights and devices flashed again, as the power was cut and restored in rapid succession to bring the room back into a productive discussion mode. The screaming and arguing had gone on for at least two minutes now — unacceptable, life-light dimming behavior. “The school hasn’t had a perfect child in over two decades,” Educator 1 said. “This is our chance to regain our standing in the World School Rankings.” “Be careful, Educator 1, envy is punishable by bedimming,” said Administrator. This was the second reminder during this session alone. Some teachers were sure to have their life-lights bedimmed before this incident was over. “Twenty-three years!” said Educator 2. “I wasn’t even a teacher at the school back then.” “It’s unfortunate that the latest generations are not as bright as they were during our own time,” said Administrator, gently rubbing her own life-light still at nearly 75% after all these years. “But the question stands — do we accept Addam’s account of the incident and allow the dimming of his life-light? Or do we reject it as a bias story, told to save a friend from becoming a darkling?” “I understand Addam’s desire to save…
Tag Archive for cultural bias
Background Knowledge, Cultural Bias, Cultural Differences, Diagnostic Errors, Ethnographic & User Data
Cultural Differences in Child-rearing or Abuse?
by Olga Werby •
I’ve written about cultural differences in child-rearing that from our, Western, point of view seem like child abuse. There’s the dunking of babies into freezing ice waters in Russia; and spinning children to improve something; and now I just saw these videos from India. and There is no question that if these were video-documented instances of child abuse in New York or Los Angeles, authorities would be knocking down doors to rescue these children. But in other cultures, is it different? Do we bear responsibility there?
Conceptual Design, Cultural Bias, Pipsqueak Articles, Product Design Strategy, Users
The Trouble with Social Search
by Olga Werby •
There have been changes in Google search and Google analytics. There have been many discussions on this topics. But there’s one big problem that I see with adding the social dimension to search: community bias or, as we’ve been referring to it in class, cultural bias. Cultural bias is one of the sources of human errors that render problem-solving more difficult. The problem comes from having one’s views on highly charged emotional topics (or social issues) continuously reinforced by the community. I’m writing this blog on Martin Luther King Day — particularly appropriate when discussing cultural bias and the difficulties of overcoming them. In the past, when we googled something, we got results based on the relevance to our query. This relevance had little to do with us personally and focused on the topic of interest. Google results to a politically polarized question looked the same whether one was a Democrat or a Republican: It didn’t matter that Democrats tended to socialize with like-minded individuals — meaning other Democrats. And Republicans preferred other Republicans, creating segregated social circles. In each such circle, people met, talked, and reinforced each other’s beliefs. BUT the Google results were the SAME for each group,…