Answer the questions about a book
Book Report/Review, Philosophy Ch.11 In this chapter, Dr. Sagan provides a cross-section of mail responses he received from readers following some of his publications on UFOs. Which responses surprised you (if any) and why? Did you get the impression that the responses—on the whole—were disingenuous?
It is incredible that Dr. Sagan was misquoted in his article as having said that there was abduction every few seconds, yet these were words written down, not spoken. Usually, for one to understand the meaning of a phrase or a sentence, it is prudent for one to read parts before and after the part in question. The responses were not as a whole disingenuous since not all responses are captured here. Only those statements which were misunderstood are referred to here.
2. Are the examples in this cross-section of responses that Dr. Sagan provides in this chapter predominantly in support or denial of his promotion of healthy skepticism and the scientific method? Assuming this is a representative sampling of the total mail he received (hint: you need to know what “representative” means in this context in order to answer this part), what do you think is the reason for the proportion of letters Sagan received attacking his ideas (as compared to the proportion of those supporting them)? Why do you think there werent more people writing in to agree with Sagan? What does this say about our reactions when we feel that our pride and integrity are being attacked?
Some of the examples selected here as responses to Dr. Sagan’s article are in denial while others are in absolute agreement of his of his promotion of healthy skepticism and the scientific method. Almost all born-again Christians don’t agree with Dr. Sagan explanation of alien abductees. Atheists support his argument for various reasons. First, the US government highly classifies the matter of alien classification hence supporting their attack on humans. Second, the demons are brought by our psychic for our development. There are more people disagreeing with him that those agreeing. This is because America has a greater population of religious people which is proportional to the larger population of people disagreeing with his more of scientific than religious argument. Human beings have a tendency to lean either on religions or scientific ideas to support themselves whenever attacked. Man has nothing in and of himself to defend himself with. Some of the responses are not clear depending on whether they have occurred one or not, that is if they were attacked by the aliens, they believe it, if they have never undergone through such an experience, they oppose it.
3. Lets take this into the business context. In the service industry, we learn that people tend to tell 10 friends about a negative experience for every one or two friends they tell about a positive experience. Viewing this in light of the skew of the responses in this chapter, what might we suspect are the issues at play here (i.e. the causes of this phenomenon)? When people pay for a service, do you think they expect a positive or negative experience? What does this suggest about the relationship between our expectations and our reactions?
The issues at play here based on these responses are a conflict between discoveries in science and health. It is not clear whether people actually have made a step in science by connecting with aliens or they are sick. In agreement with one of the responses, the greatest sin of man is pride, borrowing from the Bible. People expect a positive experience after paying for service. Our expectations and reactions, as can be seen in these responses, are based selective perspective bias. This is because our lives are influenced by how we practice our belief in God. Hence our expectations are mainly what we are taught to believe. However, many people are more reactive to what happens to them. For instance, some people can live in denial of the existence of UFOs until they experience them hence accepting that they exist.
4. One thing that is evident in many of the responses is strong emotion. Where (if at all) do you see anger in the responses? Fear? Anxiety? We know from are understandings of human cognitions that emotions can often interfere with our capacity to be objective and unbiased in our perceptions. Do you see any responses in which these emotions distract from the facts of the issue at hand? How so?
One of the most responses points that some people lack the privilege of controlling their emotions and behaviors. A good example is men using drugs to control other people in mental institutions. However, some naturally, without any clear reasons have had an interaction with ghosts or aliens, they undergo a scaring and fear especially when they asleep. They live in anxiety always. Most of the Christian responses have a sense anxiety since they deviate from the discussion on whether aliens are really and take us to the second coming and heaven where alien stories will come to an end.
5. In class, weve talked in our textbook discussions about cognitive biases as they relate to leaders and followers alike. One very common type is selective perception bias (if you need a refresher…Google it). Where do we see examples of selective perception bias in the responses in this chapter? What lessons can we as leaders of people take away from these examples? Can you think of a situation in business/hospitality where understanding this bias is helpful to a leader?
The most clear selective perception is that of most of the born again Christians who will not spare a minute to think about what point Dr. Sagan is trying to put across. There is also an argument about space people who are thought to be about to come and take people to the next generation. The whole argument about a space ship which is also associated with Jesus Christ’s second coming is mainly based on the individual’s faith. The respondent does not refer to what Dr. Sagan is saying. Leaders should be objective rather than being subjective. For instance, the result expected in business is profit. Leaders who understand this bias develop result oriented philosophy, formulate clearer goals and facilitates objective appraisal.