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  1. #1
    keannu's Avatar
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    Default but they literally did not see it.

    This might be a psychological question not an English one, but I guessed there might be something I don't realize related to English regarding my doubt why the testees didn't see the instruction related to "but they literally did not see it."
    I can't understand why they didn't see it, Are they special people? When you join a test, you are supposed to follow the instructions given.

    ex)We look for data to support our initial assumptions, and do not notice contradictory evidence. Since we cannot register all the data that our senses can bring us, we focus on what we want to see and do not see things that do not fit our assumptions. Confronted with the same shop-window, the housewife may eaily 'see' a quite different collection of objects from that 'seen' by her husband. In a management game used at the London Business School, one of the instructions for one group was 'You report to the head of group X'. In nearly every exercise the group had overlooked the instruction. Why did they do so? They did not realize their supposedly subordinate position. They had not disobeyed the instruction, but they literally did not see it.
    Last edited by keannu; 20-Nov-2011 at 21:08.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: but they literally did not see it.

    After you have read this post, take a pen and a piece of paper. Then quickly read the following post, look away, and write down what you have just read.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: but they literally did not see it.

    The
    Queen of England
    invited the President of the
    the United States to tea
    at Buckingham Palace.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: but they literally did not see it.

    Were you like most people? Did you leave out the second 'the' before ' United States'? Most people see what they expect to see, and 'literally do not see' the unexpected.
    Last edited by 5jj; 20-Nov-2011 at 21:09.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: but they literally did not see it.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: but they literally did not see it.

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Thanks a lot for your explanation, but I thought the direct reason is either the participants were actual management, top people of companies or they pretended to be the management with the assumption they shouldn't look at any subordinate position. I still need confirmation of my opinion.

    ex).....In a management game used at the London Business School, one of the instructions for one group was 'You report to the head of group X'. In nearly every exercise the group had overlooked the instruction. Why did they do so? They did not realize their supposedly subordinate position.
    Last edited by keannu; 20-Nov-2011 at 21:08.

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: but they literally did not see it.

    I think you're right- as managers, they played the role of managers and missed the bit about their real status in the game, but I think 5jj's point is valid- they read it and took the bits they were expecting and missed the bits they weren't- they didn't see it in the same way that few see the repeated the in the example. We often 'read' what we expect the text to say and can completely miss the point.

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