Hidden assumptions

Perhaps some of these already apply to you, but probably not very many of them. I know I’ve mentioned a few of them before, but not too many of them. Try to imagine how your life would be like/-different if you were:

i. A foster child/an orphan.
ii. Unable to read.
iii. Able to read, but had never learned how to use the internet. Perhaps you also don’t know how to speak English.
iv. Of the opposite gender.
v. The child of muslim parents living in the Middle East.
vi. Deaf/blind/dumb (pick one, or any combination…).
vii. (/had been) Sexually abused by your parents when you were a child.
viii. The child of parents with a severe genetic disorder (Fanconi anemia, Huntington’s).
ix. Born somewhere where toilet paper is considered a luxury.
x. The child of multimillionaires living in the United States.
xi. The child of Chinese rice farmers living in the 7th century BC.
xii. Addicted to an illicit substance/alcohol (in some places alcohol is an illicit substance…)/smoking.
xiii. Born with only one arm.
xiv. Living in a country where there had been a civil war within the last couple of decades.
xv. An only child because your big brother/sister committed suicide while you were very young.
xvi. Married to a partner you no longer love.
xvii. Very rich because you’d just won the lottery.
xviii. Recently divorced after 20 years of marriage.
xix. Unemployed.
xx. Living in a country where one-third of all children die before the age of 5.
xxi. 15 centimeters taller/shorter than you are now.
xxii. Travelling around the world, working as a circus artist.
xxiii. 25 years older/younger than you are now.
xxiv. Forced (either by circumstances or the government) to work doing something you hate.
xxv. Sometimes hearing or seeing things which are not real, because of mental illness.
xxvi. A highly social individual who loves to hang out with people all the time and dislikes being alone.
xxvii. Extremely conceited about your own abilities.
xxviii. A homosexual/an asexual/unable to achieve orgasm.
xxix. Able to read the minds of others (/fly/move things with you mind/…).
xxx. Unable to distrust people with whom you’d never interacted in the past.
xxxi. One of those people who’ve never even heard about the concept of ‘cognitive biases’.
xxxii. A sincere believer in God/Yahweh/Allah/…
xxxiii. Unable to see colours (only black/white).
xxxiv. Sitting on death row, about to be executed.
xxxv. A person for whom conventional measures of status (money/power/…) is of the very highest importance.
xxxvi. 15 kilograms leaner/heavier than you are now.
xxxvii. 15 IQ-points smarter/dumber than you are now.
xxxviii. Unable to form new memories/remember anything from your life that happened before some recent traumatic event.

Given some of the scenarios, you have to do that anyway – but for added fun, try to combine some of them (i.e. ‘one-armed, orphan, illiterate, alcoholic, recently divorced, middle-aged, dwarf, circus artist’. It should not be too hard for you to come up with a less depressing combination.)


May 10, 2012 - Posted by | Psychology, Random stuff

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