Sometimes it’s just black and white…
The horns & halo effect
Bias blind spot: “horns & halo effect” (noun)
The “horns” or “devil effect” : tendency to judge a person negatively on one aspect & automatically negatively judge on several aspects without much evidence. “Halo effect” would be the inverse: tendency to allow judgement (especially in a job interview), to be influenced by favorable impression based on appearances.
Have you noticed how everything becomes a distortion of reality? In the past, and still today, the media would spread propaganda. During times of war for political agendas.
Chauvinist material taints the design landscape. From racial, cultural, religious discrimination, gender bias in film and literature. Objectifying women and selling sex has always been the advertising/entertainment industry’s strategy. Strong, independent women always underrepresented. Minorities like “coloured” (multiracial) people in South Africa, we’re usually portrayed as clowns, thieves or gangsters. Or we remain invisible. Yet, in reality, there are philosophers, poets, artists, entertainers, sportsman…many diverse talented people, in numerous industries, who happen to have that shade of skin. Categorised and defined by superficial physical differences…Why? Technically, we’re all mixed. There is no “real/pure race”. So why is colour important? It doesn’t affect skill or determine potential.
Politics, Greed & Power ruins everything
If only George Orwell could know that 1984 turned out to be true globally, in terms of the internet, social media & politics.
“Ultimately it was hoped to make articulate speech issue from the larynx without involving the higher brain centres at all”.
“ Duckspeak”, the Newspeak term meaning to quack like a duck or to speak without thinking. Duckspeak can be either good or “ungood” (bad). It depends on who is speaking and if speech is in line with the ideals of Big Brother.
Boys vs Girls
The 10 worst body-shaming and sexist adverts you’re likely to see
Victoria’s Secret came under fire in November 2014 for this advert that suggested slim models had the ‘perfect body’…
Sexism in vintage advertising. Memes perpetuate this today. (Although, I must admit, I do laugh at the sexist blunt cards) — I’m sorry, I have a dark sense of humour at times. But I figure, if I’m the butt of the joke, I am allowed to laugh.
Majority view on things, isn’t necessarily the right way. Categorising male & females : gender-role socialisation begins early in life. From “gender appropriate” clothes, hairstyles, toys. etc. I don’t see why there should be standards for what is appropriate based on your biological or cultural identity. (Some of us don’t even have a cultural identity). What does it matter what we look like? Leave your prescriptive lists of what society tells you, you “should” be.
The female role has always been cast unfairly. Cooking, cleaning, successful parent, awesome wife and thriving in their careers…but wait, and of course…looking great while doing it? Pfft…whatever.
No, you can’t do that…Girls don’t do that! That’s not lady like…But I don’t hear you telling boys how to be a man.
Primary school days I remember how I noticed these difference with books. I remember how boys were sent to the “boys” section of the library (Hardy Boys), and girls directed to the useless ramblings of (Sweet Valley). Hence I felt there were no books I could identify with, and opted for reading ahead in the school set work, then fell in love with fantasy and sci-fi instead.
As extra subjects in high school, all the boys chose industrial arts, and all the girls chose home economics. Hence I was the only girl choosing woodwork over baking, purely out of defiance and to learn something new. I didn’t see why these 2 subjects should still be in place. Not that there’s anything wrong with woodwork or baking, the problem was in the fact that most never questioned which to take. It was an automatic decision for girls to choose the one over the other. I hope things are different now.
In literature women are portrayed more as victims than as heroines. I was told that Sylvia Plath was a great female writer. I read her biography and one of her books, and was highly disappointed that this was the epitome of a great female writer. A mother who killed herself. She had depression, which I can understand. However, her choice in thoughts and actions was disappointing. I expected her to be a saint of some sort if she was a literary hero. ( I now recognise my own blind spots). But perhaps her actions were driven by the unfair rules placed on her as a women. Perhaps, it was the time that she lived in, and the lack of support surrounding her. And her poor choice in a life partner. Which is ultimately very human of her. But she’s still not one of my favorites. Hence choose your books & your partners wisely. I’ll probably have to write my books as a man to ensure people will read it. Just to test how fickle society is regarding trusting information from men over women. Or perhaps, I already have written many books under a pseudonym, and everyone has already read it!
These expectations placed on girls over the centuries have affected us down to this day. Hence the question of identity. How a girl looks and acts is always in question. What should I do? How should I be? Am I upsetting anyone? Maybe I should just keep my feelings to myself…my voice doesn’t matter. Ambition in girls is hardly ever encouraged. And if you happen to be ambitious, you’re flawed, or treated as flawed. It’s all rubbish.
A Challenge for Girls Today: Moving Beyond ‘How Do I Look?’
This story appears in the January 2017 issue ofNational Geographic magazine. Alexandra lives in a peaceful, leafy…
Then we have the double standards in the work place. If a woman is assertive and stands up for herself or her beliefs, she’s not a team player, and will most likely be named the terrible word we use for female dogs. Whereas if a man is assertive he’s got leadership qualities. What happens next? Women fear stepping on toes, work 10x harder to try to prove they are capable and yet, still remain invisible. I’ve spoken to a few women of different age groups, backgrounds, in various roles, and it seems this glass ceiling does exist for all of them, and it isn’t breaking any time soon. Nepotism, favoritism or sexism, has always been the deciding factor in most companies I’ve researched. Perhaps why most would rather pursue building their own companies. (Which would still need a male front-man in most instances — to put male clients at ease…except, if it’s a woman with huge boobs, then there’s different standards altogether).
Sometimes those who move ahead, are not necessarily the brightest or best, rather more manipulative or masters of influence. And sometimes, they just happen to fit the script of what the company wants to portray. Or sometimes, you’re just the “token” hire. I’ve seen many speakers who could sell rubbish, using nothing but their looks or charisma to captivate their audience.
Many are blinded just by the surface, judging books by their covers.
21 Shockingly Sexist Vintage Ads That Would Get Ripped To Shreds In 2017
Though the way our current society views women is far from perfect, we can be grateful for the fact that we no longer…
Have a look at the research done on gender bias in films:
Using technology to address gender bias in film | Google
Machine learning helps identify gender in movies and reveals new information about gender inequality in highest…
Microtransactions in games
Loot boxes. So, this topic is debatable. But it does resemble gambling.
Debatoid: Are loot boxes a blight on gaming?
This whole court’s out of order!, . Welcome to Debatoid! If you weren’t around six years ago, Debatoid is an internet…
Design, really can change the world, yet so many distort and abuse
Casinos designed to enable gamblers
Designed to keep gamblers focused for longer, putting them in a trance like state. Distorting sense of time, with the lack of natural sunlight to keep them in their pit of despair. From the lighting & aromas released to the rigged system, strategically created to ensure the user remains there for longer, while using other triggers like the staff to offer free drinks when they’re on a losing streak. To motivate them to stay longer. If we’re measuring how good a design is based on how effective it is for the business, then yes, whoever worked on this from the sound engineers, architects and user experience designers etc. did a good job. But in terms of the effects on the user, you’ve failed miserably at the task at hand. Therefore your design is flawed.
Gambling is no joke. Neither is abusing the abused. Everyone has an addiction of some sort. Addiction: A copying mechanism which has gone unchecked for too long. If it’s not gambling, drugs, alcohol, food, shopping, overworking, technology. Even netflix binging is an addiction. Everyone finds a way to fill the void. Unfortunately, feeding the negativity which exists in all of us is generally monetized.
Social media & games (operant conditioning) — Law of Effect
“Associations are created between stimulus and consequence (variable rewards)”
Taps into human flaws/insecurities, loneliness, vanity. Sense of community is lost from what was meant to connect. Everything is blatant advertising. Manipulation of human social needs. Focus on the vices instead of virtues. Depravity promoted instead of humanity. The hook model used in social media and in some apps is a direct method to trap users.
News / media (classical conditioning)
“Learned association”. Classical conditioning process consists of four elements: unconditioned stimulus (UCS), unconditioned response (UCR), conditioned stimulus (CS), and conditioned response (CR)
Advertising and the media have made humanity callous. Shock tactics to instill fear. Truth is withheld. Information is biased, it all depends on who’s paying and sponsoring…no longer true objective journalism. I don’t think some people even know the difference between advertorials and articles. Fear & ignorance drives animosity and widens the divide between “different” views either political/cultures/religious etc and continues the cycle of discrimination which is the root of mob mentality. Ignorance in this case I am referring to lack of knowledge regarding other communities, and lack of compassion for “different” driven by fear.
Black Hat & Grey Hat tactics in Advertising & SEO as well as Dark & Anti-patterns in UI Design to blatantly cheat, trick and manipulate.
There are many who will take something good and distort it to their own selfish, greedy needs. Designers have the personal creative responsibility to ensure that their designs don’t harm or hurt.
Moral of the story
The above history is an attempt to make sense of the existing imbalances…The designs which have infected thinking over time…So what does that mean? How can it be fixed? The aim in any research or creative process, should be a reflection of both (as many) sides as possible in search of middle ground beneficial to each. Things aren’t 100% when it comes to male/female dynamics…but I am grateful I exist in this time, and not 50 or 100 years ago. The above is merely one sided reflection. And is a problem I’ll dissect another day.
In terms of UI Design, and what affects us all currently, today, we have businesses and designers who exploit content, drive negative behaviours for their own financial gains ( not for the benefit of the “user” ). And it’s even harder to make sense of the world. Or know who to trust. (refer to anti-patterns & darkpatterns.org to see an archive of all the unethical UI designs patterns)
(I don’t like focusing on the negative, however, the point is there is a lack of respect or consideration for each other- lack of balance or fairness and no sense of compassion for the next person). Whether viewing in isolation or as a whole. I had to give some context before delving into the next article) …Let’s look at these bad practices in UI design in a bit more detail to gain clarity…
Malicious practices N E X T →
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