Observations and expectations

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One of the pitfalls of being an evaluator is presupposing the results. For example, if you test drive a new car and think "I am going to like this car" then you may miss some of the problems you might otherwise have found. This happens because you cloud your judgment with expectations of what you think will happen, rather than being the careful observer. And worse, when we precondition ourselves to think one way we then believe the conclusion if it should suit our purpose. For example, this morning I was afraid to get on the scale and weigh myself for fear I would not like the results. But I forced it and was pleasantly surprised. My immediate reaction was to believe the result I had hoped for and never questioned if it was but an anomaly (something experience has shown me it probably is).

Easy observation to make, difficult to eliminate prejudice in practice. This same issue comes up when evaluating high end audio. We all have to be careful when bringing in a new piece of kit, evaluating new firmware, cables, music, or room treatments. If we think it might be better and it is, case closed! If it isn't what we expected, we then dig deeper, something we should always do anyway. It's a good reminder to each of us to take a deep breath and let the initial euphoria of expectations matching observations and make sure they are accurate. Certainly for me.

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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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