Wicked experience

According to Robin M. Hogarth’s book Educating Intuition, there are two types of experience: Kind and wicked.

The kind version, as the name suggests, is nice. The feedback on your actions is unbiased. A tennis player is endowed with kind experience. She receives immediate and accurate news on what happens when she hits the ball in a certain way.

The wicked version is cunning. It shows you only part of the story and gives feedback on some of the outcomes. An emergency room doctor mostly lives in a wicked environment. He does not receive immediate and accurate feedback on his patients.

Consider another example.

You are walking. You drop a coin on the ground. You stop and look back to locate it. Think about how that coin traveled as it fell. Did it move forward or backward? Or maybe it just fell straight down?

Most people say it traveled straight or backward, although it actually moved forward along a curve. It just fell behind due to gravity pulling it down at the same time.

Because people always locate the coin behind, they tend to assume that its movement could not have been forward. Their experience and subsequent observation confuses their logic. It is wicked.

Consider other wicked environments, such as massively populated online social networks.

Everybody in these virtual spaces is good-looking and socially responsible. Through many connections, one is exposed to a constant stream of interesting news, cool photographs, fun anecdotes. I suspect this kind of biased experience would push someone to be depressed about her/his own life.

Here is an article that suggests this might be the case.

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