Saturday, May 03, 2008

I think I've had this professor . . .

The importance of the advocate’s personality is illustrated by a study of medical educators and students in which a “lecturer” presented a nonsensical lecture entitled “Mathematical Game Theory as Applied to Physical Education.” The lecturer, Dr. Fox, was given a lofty but invented academic background. The purpose of the experiment was to test whether the credentials and humorous, animated style of the lecturer would seduce the audience, despite the fact that the lecture was full of “double talk, contradictions, and meaningless references to unrelated topics.” The response to Dr. Fox’s lecture was almost unanimously favorable. Many in the audience claimed he was brilliant.

- Caldwell & Perrin, et al., "Primacy, Recency, Ethos, and Pathos: Integrating Principles of Communication into the Direct Examination Source." Notre Dame L. Rev. v. 76, n. 2 (2001) 423-517.

2 comments:

danay said...

I didn't know we'd taken the same class!

Mommy said...

We live in the world like the one depicted in "The Emperor's New Clothes." When confronted with idiocy, most of us don't have the courage of the little boy in the story who trusted his senses and, against the concensus, declared, "The emperor has no clothes on!"