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  1. #1
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Default The Message and the Messenger

    How well do you receive truth or words of wisdom when it comes from an unlikely source? If the village idiot suddenly professed to have secret knowldge of the universe, and s/he actually does, do you shrug them off because it's some nutcase? If a person of more status and credentials says the same thing, would you be more likely to hear them out?

    How often does the image and credibility of the messenger affect your ability to the receive the message?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Kyrielle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    How well do you receive truth or words of wisdom when it comes from an unlikely source? If the village idiot suddenly professed to have secret knowldge of the universe, and s/he actually does, do you shrug them off because it's some nutcase? If a person of more status and credentials says the same thing, would you be more likely to hear them out?

    How often does the image and credibility of the messenger affect your ability to the receive the message?
    Typically, I tend to be the most skeptical of people with status and credentials. There's no knowing what aims they might truly have for telling you something that's "the truth" and whether or not it really is the truth. Street people (by this I mean an all encompassing term for the homeless, beggars, and "nutcases") I am more like likely to believe them to be telling a truth. It may not be the truth, but it is a truth. So, I guess with physical appearances only, I work in the opposite way of most society.

    However, there are some people with more status who do prove themselves to be humble and intelligent, and I will be inclined to believe them to be honest. I think those two traits really effect how I perceive honesty in a messenger.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Alienclock's Avatar
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    Image and credibility with whom?

    I receive it much better from an unlikely source. Frankly, because I am afraid of the hive mind and the collective. (don't like to be manipulated by the powers that be)

    Also, I tend to listen to the message and judge the message for myself. I believe a good message stands on its own...

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    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    I'm probably going to be a little biased toward the credentialed person. I blame my mother, a nutcase who has always professed to have secret knowledge of the universe yet, with few exceptions, is full of crap.
    Last edited by cafe; 05-16-2007 at 05:15 PM.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  5. #5
    Member FranG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyrielle View Post
    Typically, I tend to be the most skeptical of people with status and credentials. There's no knowing what aims they might truly have for telling you something that's "the truth" and whether or not it really is the truth. Street people (by this I mean an all encompassing term for the homeless, beggars, and "nutcases") I am more like likely to believe them to be telling a truth. It may not be the truth, but it is a truth. So, I guess with physical appearances only, I work in the opposite way of most society.

    However, there are some people with more status who do prove themselves to be humble and intelligent, and I will be inclined to believe them to be honest. I think those two traits really effect how I perceive honesty in a messenger.
    I'm sorta like this. I tend to be skeptical of certain messengers. It depends on a lot of things, but mostly with me past experience. I don't care about credentials and all of that. I'll pretty much listen to anybody, even something as ridiculous as a homeless guy on the street offering stock tips. I just feel like if I can gain just one insight from the whole of his conversation then I have bettered myself. But as one proves to be idiotic or ignorant on certain things, I will tend to not want to listen to what that person has to say. I would still listen passively though (giving divided attention) as opposed to actively. If I here something insightful, my full attention will then shift to the messenger.
    I live the life daily; I die the death nightly

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    How well do you receive truth or words of wisdom when it comes from an unlikely source? If the village idiot suddenly professed to have secret knowldge of the universe, and s/he actually does, do you shrug them off because it's some nutcase? If a person of more status and credentials says the same thing, would you be more likely to hear them out?

    How often does the image and credibility of the messenger affect your ability to the receive the message?
    It's probably equal parts message, messenger, and method of communication.

    A credible messenger definitely lends credibility to the message, but at some point the message will have to stand on its own two legs, and both can be maligned by poor presentation.

  7. #7
    Lallygag Moderator Geoff's Avatar
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    I tend to want people to justify their intellectual "worth" before I'll accept messages from them. I know, it's arrogance, but I tend to be quite dismissive of people that I don't know well until they do something that surprises me. That might be an interesting or believable message, however!

    -Geoff

  8. #8
    Senior Member Lookin4theBestNU's Avatar
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    How often does the image and credibility of the messenger affect your ability to the receive the message?
    I can only think of one area where credentials matter even slightly to me. That is the health profession (mental health excluded, title means zero here) and even that is debatable. I will listen to anything that regards paperwork (car insurance questions, taxes etc.) too. My bias leans towards the opposite direction of most people. I have a tendency to immediately put my guard up around anyone whom I perceive as having any kind of 'authority'. I may sound arrogant as well, but your title means very little to nothing to me, this includes work. I am even more likely to be skeptical/distrustful if you use said title to convince me. I would certainly listen to the 'village idiot' to see what they had to say. I have found great sources of insight from very unlikely places including innocent insights from elementary children for example. I value wisdom/experience much more than textbook knowledge. I liked volunteering in the nursing home as a teenager. I found it fascinating to listen (with those who still had the capacity) to what 70/80+ years of life experience had to offer in regards to 'truths' of life.
    "At points of clarity, I realize that my life on earth is meaningless, and that I am merely a pawn in a bigger game. A game I cannot possibly understand or have control of. Thankfully, before depression sets in, I drift back into my cloudy, bewildered daily routine." **Joel Patrick Warneke**

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    How well do you receive truth or words of wisdom when it comes from an unlikely source? If the village idiot suddenly professed to have secret knowldge of the universe, and s/he actually does, do you shrug them off because it's some nutcase? If a person of more status and credentials says the same thing, would you be more likely to hear them out?

    How often does the image and credibility of the messenger affect your ability to the receive the message?
    The source is important if you want to estimate the accuracy of facts being reported ("does that person have the knowledge and expertise to be communicating reasonable accurate information?").

    However, considering facts that are well accepted and known, the ability to receive a specific argument will depend as follows:

    Everytime somebody is not sufficiently involved in a topic, has not the motivation, time or intellectual capabilities to understand, that person will pay attention to clues technically irrelevant to the actual argument: expertise of person, way of saying things, perceived social status, dress, if what that person says is a threat to you or not, etc.

    However, when people are involved in something, are interested, have the time and intellectual capabilities to understand, they will far more likely pay attention to the actual value of truth of the argument regardless of the source.

    edit: I would like to add that it does make sense to accept information more willingly from someone who has credentials than from someone who has not. For starters, in order to judge the competence of someone you need yourself to be competent. You cannot possibly know everything and one has to have the humility to admit that one is in no position to judge the expertise of a person without being an expert themselves. Credentials aren't exactly given on a silver plate...
    Last edited by Maverick; 05-17-2007 at 09:14 AM.

  10. #10
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Source is important but never a veto.

    "I don't care if your name is Stephen Hawkins, you sound like your talking absolute balls and as such I'll call you on it. Yes that's a very nice piece of paper but unfortunately it in no way says "everything which comes out of this blokes mouth is 100% true" and I wouldn't believe it even if it did say that."

    Contrastingly I'd be a fool to listen to my friend Fred on the subject of black holes and not regard the words of Mr Hawkins as more reliable unless evidence was provided to state such.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

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