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Re: [XP] Commitment and Consistency

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  • PaulOldfield1@aol.com
    (responding to Patrick) ... I suspect this is BDUF vs. Embrace Change in another form. We all want stability in our lives, but we want to base our lives on the
    Message 1 of 5 , Jun 1, 2006
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      (responding to Patrick)

      > One chapter in particular so far seems relevant to agile development...
      > on "Commitment and Consistency". The observation at the beginning
      > of the chapter describes how a person making a bet at a racetrack
      > will almost always have more confidence in their bet immediately
      > after placing the bet than just prior to placing the bet. This is believed
      > to be due to our deep desire to be (and to appear to be) consistent
      > with our past actions.

      I suspect this is BDUF vs. Embrace Change in another form.

      We all want stability in our lives, but we want to base our lives on
      the right decisions. Where do we stop challenging our early
      beliefs? Some people never start, and of these some will react
      violently in later life to anything that appears to challenge their
      beliefs, because they have too much invested in them to change.

      Others challenge their beliefs all the time, and arrive in later life
      knowing their current beliefs have stood up to all the challenges
      so far. They embrace change.

      IME, when I made a conscious decision to admit I was wrong
      whenever that happened, I had much more control over my life
      from then on. Cultures where it is regarded as a sign of weakness
      to admit one is wrong seem to have quite different dynamics from
      ones where it is okay to admit one is wrong.

      Hmm... perhaps all agilists should be agnostic? :-)

      Paul Oldfield



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    • Logan, Patrick D
      ... It is related to that, and more. This is about deep and subliminal psychological behavior. For example, it touches on estimation of any kind. There is
      Message 2 of 5 , Jun 1, 2006
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        > I suspect this is BDUF vs. Embrace Change in another form.

        It is related to that, and more. This is about deep and subliminal
        psychological behavior.

        For example, it touches on estimation of any kind. There is another
        anecdote in the book about an experiment with estimation. Three groups
        of people were asked to estimate the lengths of lines.

        One group was asked to write their estimates down, sign them, and
        publicize their writing.

        A second group was asked to write their estimates down privately but not
        show them to anyone.

        A third group was asked just to make an estimate but not to write it
        down.

        Then the groups were given more information that would be helpful in
        their estimations.

        The results indicated, given this improved information:

        * The group with signed, publicized estimates are less likely to change
        their original estimates than the other two.

        * The group with written private estimates are the second less likely to
        change their original estimates.

        * The group with unwritten estimates are most likely to change their
        original estimates.

        -Patrick
      • PaulOldfield1@aol.com
        (responding to Patrick) ... Agreed, but this subliminal behaviour can probably be trained away, which might be a useful thing to do. ... For a
        Message 3 of 5 , Jun 2, 2006
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          (responding to Patrick)

          >> I suspect this is BDUF vs. Embrace Change in another form.
          >
          > It is related to that, and more. This is about deep and subliminal
          > psychological behavior.

          Agreed, but this 'subliminal' behaviour can probably be trained
          away, which might be a useful thing to do.

          <snip>

          > The results indicated, given this improved information:
          >
          > * The group with signed, publicized estimates are less likely to
          > change their original estimates than the other two.
          >
          > * The group with written private estimates are the second less
          > likely to change their original estimates.
          >
          > * The group with unwritten estimates are most likely to change
          > their original estimates.

          For a randomly selected sample of the population, I would
          expect such results. Suppose we pre-selected groups by
          other likely indicators of whether they embrace change;
          say Creationists vs. Darwinists, Trad programmers vs. Agile,
          etc. though. I suggest that the results would be more
          pronounced in the group we do not expect to embrace
          change than in the other group. I haven't done the experiment
          and don't intend to, but I believe without evidence that the
          effect would be less pronounced in people that embrace change;
          in people that are prepared to accept and deal with instability.

          IME I can train people to embrace change; to freely admit that
          what they said earlier has been proved wrong in the light
          of new information... provided they are in a culture that does
          not contradict the message I'm putting across, e.g. by
          punishing decisions and estimates that were wrong despite
          due diligence being applied.

          Paul Oldfield





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