Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘psychologists

“But I do not love him…”; (October 14, 2009)             

            A love on and off affair of one of my close relatives got me thinking.  Invariably we all think that we are acute psychologists in interpreting the behavior of others and that we need no formal schooling in that practice. Our reduced life experience enlarges our abstract notions into the realm of truths; but not many would venture into writing an article that smacks of psychology.  My earlier decision to shrink my posts to less than a thousand words will save me many mishaps by lengthy chatting on this peculiar topic.

This fundamental concept dawned on me: Women would instantly marry men they fall in love with, regardless whether love is reciprocated as long as the man is accommodating. Most women are viewed as pragmatic because they prefer to marry men able to provide a comfortable standard of living.  This perception is in the “common sense” category of evidences among men: in most cultures men are the ones expected to make the first moves and ask for the hand of their selected choices and parents have definite say after financial investigation of the targeted family. 

This perception is far from the truth. First, if a woman has the choice between a comfortable provider and the one she loves then she would select the man she loves with no hesitation in most cases.  Fortunately, these moments of choices are rare, simply because either the woman has not yet fallen in love, or the one she loves is not available (basically, unreachable to work diligently on him). Second, the ratio of achiever man combined with an imagination running wild into recounting enchanted stories and projects (that women tend to fall in love with) and the rest of the other kinds of men is pretty abysmal; and thus, women have a puny pool of men to fall in love with among the eligible. 

The perception of women having practical streak is the result of the rare occasions for women to show their fundamental sides. I am not distinguishing between the “independent” and “non-independent” women because the concept of “preferring the man she loves” is a truth for all normal women when the right occasion is available.  One advantage for an independent woman to marrying the man she loves is that she has a wider intellectual and practical range of means to work on her man as long as he is receptive. Mind that I didn’t define an “independent” woman by her economic status of financial self-sufficiency, although that would give the woman a powerful advantage in most cases.  What I mean by an independent woman is the one that was permitted freedom of choices in many sectors of life during her upbringing, or her folks were lenient enough to encourage her to take initiatives and allow her to impose the choices in most instances.  Thus, an independent woman has acquired a flexible and trained mind to investing energy and time at studying her choices and carrying them into satisfactory results.

Allow me to go one step further in matter of truths; a “pragmatic” married woman would never relinquish her God’s given right to seeking the love of her life.  That is why divorces and unhappy houses are so widespread everywhere and in among all cultures.

I would be interested reading studies or stories on attractive enough spinsters, and then discovering the main reasons for them failing to marry.  My hypothesis is that a spinster was in love with a “local” man and the “rich” practical men were not forthcoming or felt that the spinster was not a good actor for sending the right signals as expected of her. I reduced my sample of “attractive enough” spinsters because I feel the attribute “beautiful” is such a strong characteristic for men that no beautiful woman will go unmarried in most cases.  Mind that I will not insists on the characteristics of men simply because a man needs a lifetime to applying Socrates’ dictum “know your own self!”

Women in general do not give words coming from man much weight as evidence for truth; women believe that they have a set of battery of their own lie detectors to verify if a man is saying the truth; they need constant affirmation that the man is behaving correctly in order to control their hold on him.  The best criterion for women to discriminate strong from weak men is to demand from men to pour their heart out and provide total description of their status, life, and inclinations; women insist on their men to tell everything: implicitly, to convince men that they believe in their words; but this is the most important first test. 

If men fall into that trap and divulge everything then they have lost the war already; women want strong men and those men who tell them everything are categorized as weak in character and useless to protect them or to fall in love with them.  Those men who failed this critical test and succumbed to weakness should never expect the woman to fall in love with him even if she decided to marry him; in this case she loves to play mother.  The woman who marries such a “weak” man has fundamentally no real interest in men but prefer this front to save further exacerbations with constant wowing and pressures from men.

No, it is not an undertone power struggle for the search of a weak man to dominate because women naturally want to be the leaders in the family and they would ultimately grab that power with minimum determination.  All that women want from men is to constantly tell them what women like to hear and to hell with the truth which they can always discover with their own array of lie indicators and detectors. Men should master the techniques for perfect confident lie stories that women love to hear as long as they never forget to compliment them frequently and act very devoted to them.

            Consequently, a word of advice for grown up men, those who didn’t marry in their mid twenties: dig into whatever intuitive power you have to feel whether the girl of your choice may fall in love with you.  Rushing mindlessly and immediately into investing energy, time, and resources to just wowing her is a typical man’s weakness.  Now, if your intuition was high jacked by an evil spirit into believing that the love of your life is indeed in love with you, then the next step is to discourage your girl from meeting with comfortable providers by any means available. 

            All these suggestions are for just the practical situation of getting married.  Living happily is a totally another issue and I am no redundant prophet.  Simply remember what I said of woman’s single uncompromising faith of her God’s given right “to falling in love with a man once in her lifetime”. The harshest instances for me are being under constant investigation: Being forgotten in a gulag is a more tenable alternative for me.

 

Note: this post is a re-edited version of my prior “She let go of her suitor” written in November 17, 2007 

Human Factors in Engineering (Article #29)

“How objective and scientific are research?”

Friend, allow me just a side explanation on experimentation.  Psychologists, sociologists and marketing graduates are trained to apply various experimentation methods and not just cause and effects designs.

There are many statistical packages oriented to provide dimensions and models to the set of data dumped into the experiment, so that a preliminary understanding of the system behavior is comprehended qualitatively.

Every applied science has gone through many qualitative models or schema, using various qualitative methods, before attempting to quantify their models. However, many chairmen of engineering departments, especially those who have no understanding of the discipline of Human Factors or were never exposed to designing experiments, have a conception that this field is mostly qualitative in nature.

They would ask me to concentrate in my courses on the quantitative aspects such as the environmental factors of lighting, noise, heat and any topic that requires computation or has well defined physics equations.

We have 3 concepts in the title: objectivity, scientific and research that are related in people’s mind as connoting the same concept.

However, the opposite meanings for these concepts are hard to come by without philosophical divergences or assumptions.

If we define science as a set of historical paradigms, a set of concepts, truths, facts and methods that most of them keep changing as new technologies and new methodologies enlarge the boundaries of knowledge, then you might be more inclined to discuss notions with a freer mind.

Could subjectivity be accepted as the opposite of objectivity without agreeing on a number of axioms and assumptions that are not tenable in many cases?  Any agreement in the meanings of objectivity in scientific research procedures and results are basically consensual among the professionals in a discipline, for a period, until the advent of a new paradigm that changes the meaning or orientation of the previous consensus among the professionals.

Could opinions, personal experiences, recalled facts or events not be accepted in the domain of research even if they could be found in written documents but not thoroughly investigated by a researcher? 

So what if you refer to an accredited research article and then it turned out that the article was fraught with errors, misleading facts with borderline results and untenable interpretations?  Would the research be thrown in the dust bin as unscientific or non objective and thus not worth further investigations?

Research in Physics, Chemistry and engineering deal with objects and are related to studying the behavior of the physical nature; these kind of research can arrive to well establish mathematical models because the factors are countable, could be well controlled in experimental settings and the variability in errors are connected to the technology of the measuring instruments once the procedure is well defined and established according to experimental standards.

It is when research has to deal with the variability in the human nature such as in psychology, psychometric, sociology, marketing, business management and econometric that the notions of objectivity, research and science become complex and confusing.

The main problem is to boldly discriminate among research and admit that not every research is necessarily scientific or objective and that a research has an intrinsic value if the investigator is candid about the purpose and nature of his research.

We need to admit that every research is subjective in nature because it is the responsibility of the investigator to select his topic, his intentions, his structured theory, references, fund providers, the hypotheses, the design, the methodology, the sample size, the populations, the data collection techniques, the statistical package, emphasis on either error type I or error type II, the interpretation of results and so on.

By admitting prior subjective environment to a research endeavor, we can proffer the qualitative term of objectivity to the research only and only when the investigators provide full rationales to every subjective choices in the research process.

Every step in the research process is a variation on an accepted paradigm at one point in the history of science and the mixing of paradigms with no conscious realization of the mixing process should set a warning alarm on the validity of the research and the many pitfalls it is running through.

Acknowledging the role of subjectivity in the methodology, the data and its interpretation could open the way for more accurate and flexible judgments as to the extent of objectivity and scientific tendencies of the research.

Article #8, April 5, 2005

“What do you design again?”

Human Factors are primarily oriented to designing interfaces between systems and end users/operators.  Of the many interfaces two interfaces are common to people and can be grouped into two main categories: displays and controls. 

Designing the arrangements of displays and controls on consoles for utility companies, aircraft, trains, and automobiles according to applicable guidelines are examples.

Operators and end users need to receive information on the status of a complex system and be able to respond to this information through a control device. Thus, once a designer knows what needs to be controlled in a system and how, then the required types of displays follow.

Displays and controls can become complex devices if not designed to targeted users.

The design of the cockpit interface in airplanes is different from cars, trains or ships.

The design or the interface in cellular phones is different from computer games or computer screens, keyboards and mouse.

A good knowledge of the physical and mental abilities and requirements of the target end users are paramount in the design of any interface if efficiency, affordability, acceptability, maintainability, safety and health are the prerequisite to wide spread demands and marketability.

How the functions and tasks of any subsystems should be allocated, to human or to an automated machine? 

What are the consequences in emergency situations for any allocation strategy? 

What are the consequences of an allocation when a system is exported to Third World countries? 

What are the consequences of function allocation to employment, safety risks, health risks and long term viability of any system?

Who usually are in charge of designing interfaces that require multidisciplinary knowledge?

Given that any of these designs require inputs from marketing experts, psychologists, sociologists, economists, engineers, statisticians and legal experts on the liabilities of these designed objects for safe and healthy usage then who should be responsible for designing interfaces?

Teams of professionals should necessarily be involved in interface designs but because time being of the essence in business competition and cost to a lesser extent many of these interfaces are relegated to engineers applying published standards or relying on personal experience and previous models from competitors.

Human Factors data on the physical and mental limitations and capabilities of target users should be part of any standard book for designing interfaces.

Human Factors methodologies need to be disseminated so that viable interfaces could fit the characteristics of the end users.

The Human Factors professionals failed in their first three decades of existence to recognize that their main purpose was to design interfaces, to design practical system and to orient their research toward engineers who could readily use their data in designing systems.

If this trend of targeting engineers in our research papers continues then this profession could make a serious dent in sending the proper message and open up a market for the thousands of Human Factors graduates who should be needed in the design of systems interfaces.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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