Irresistable Shares: The “Right” Answer

I participate in a survey-taking opportunity, the purpose of which is to take surveys based on your age, preferences about random stuff, lifestyle stage, etc. etc. etc. and for which you earn a certain amount of “money” (they tally your total in dollars and cents). Said “money” can then be used to ‘purchase’ gift cards, discount coupons, magazines, airline mileage rewards and so forth.

Today I got the usual invite to take a survey and when I clicked on it the typical series of demographic questions popped up and two in particular struck me:

  • male/female
  • age range

As I looked at them, I had an almost insatiable desire to not give the proper answers. What would happen if I ticked the “male” box and/or chose an age range in which my magic number could not be found? Would the earth cease its spin? Would lightning strike me? Would strange people suddenly appear in my office to reset me?

Or would I simply skew the data of the survey-offerer?

Purposely skewing data is not a simple matter and perhaps it is for this reason I ticked the appropriate boxes. I have sent out surveys for various purposes and have wondered about the truth of what I receive. What if the person on the other end is interested in the subject but is paranoid about being identified? What if the person is a ‘comedian’ and thinks it would be funny to mess with my results? What if the person is a bit more off-center curious than I and simply chose the “wrong” answers, just to see what might happen?

Meet me in the Apostle Paul’s library when our souls move on because these and other questions will be asked whilst I spend eternity with God and all the other saints…

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  1. I shouldn’t reveal this publically but I once played dumb on an IQ test just to see what would happen. My teachers flagged it and I had to take it over.

    Still, it’s possible there’s an evaluation sheet in my file somewhere that shows I have the intelligence of an orangutan.

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