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Question about methods of questioning

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Which question removes the most bias  

  1. 1. The phone call

    • If you were in this same situation would you use the phone to call someone
    • If you were in the same situation who would be the first person you would call

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The goal of the question is to remove bias. 

The scenario

Mother is watching a movie where government is trying to find a boy. The boy is with a girl and they run to a “trustworthy” place. In each step of the movie electronic devices have been used to be tracked. Yet, in this trust worthy place the girl who was with the boy decided to call her uncle on a phone inside the trustworthy place.

The mother claims that this is unreasonable and that everyone would know that the phones would be tapped. It was stated in response to that that it is not necessarily true that everyone would automatically know. The person that picked up the phone in the movie was a teenager. It was stated that it is Not unlikely that a teenager would pick up the phone not thinking about the consequences of the action.

in order to demonstrate this the mother asked her teenage son to come in the room, to hear the scenario,and then to see how he would respond. The Son comes into the room the scenario is given and this is the question that is asked...

Question A

”If you were in this same situation would you use the phone to call someone” ?

tihe objection to the question by the other person was the it was leading the person to the answer. The alternate question that was given to remove bias is to ask this question instead,

Question B

”If you were in this same scenario and you saw a phone who would be the first person that you would call”?

Which question would be better to see how the Son would truly respond in this scenario and in order to remove any kid of bias?

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This is a “none of the above” question. There is no question that you can ask that will tell you how a person “would truly respond” in a scenario, especially an over-cooked movie scenario. Both questions are leading in a certain way. The first it biased in introducing paranoia about government surveillance, because it would be ridiculous to not use the phone to solve the problem, so by saying so little, the subject would have to ask “what kind of a question is that?! Why wouldn’t you? Well, okay, I see, the government is after the boy, and this is a movie so of course the phone is tapped”. The second is biased by introducing a presupposition that downplays the high probability of phone tapping, in the context of a movie about the government pursuing a child. “Who would be the first person you would call” presupposes that the phones can be safely used. People are generally terrible at denying presuppositions: instead, they grant the presupposition, and make a choice based on that. So the answer would be “call the uncle”. As a first step, try overtly identifying the risks and goals, i.e. “Is the benefit of calling Uncle Tom greater than the risk arising from the phone being tapped?”.


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