Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Do people report embarrassing facts?

I've done some work in whether people report facts about themselves that are sensitive or embarrassing, and it seems that generally people report a surprising amount of sensitive information. Something that I've found fascinating is how people will reveal sensitive information when it's not called for on the humor blog "Damn you autocorrect". Usually, the cases are innocuous or not-so-innocuous, but occasionally the autocorrect will falsely "reveal" information (by correcting text to something not meant) that will induce the correspondent to reveal information that they would not have otherwise said.

Here are the examples:

Only 4 examples and presumably it doesn't always "work" (that is, reveal information that would otherwise be hidden and not revealed on a survey), but I wonder if this could be harnessed somehow as a survey device.

1 comment:

Dan H said...

As an undergrad I helped sign up people for the regular blood donation drives. Sitting at a table outside a cafeteria, I was always amazed at what people would say. (i.e. "Sorry, I have STD X") I think part of it was that most people felt guilty refusing to donate blood without an explanation, but they spur-of-the-moment explanations were sometimes quite, um, interesting.