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-   -   Is there a name for this situation? (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=830143)

nate 07-02-2017 05:57 PM

Is there a name for this situation?
 
I'm thinking of a pattern that fits many situations where a problem exists, a solution is applied and fixes 99.9% of the problem, but the remaining part of the problem is seen as just a big of a problem as the original.

For example, every weekend I trim my beard over the bathroom sink. It makes a pretty big mess with all the cut hair. So I clean it up, getting every single hair I can find, and leave. My wife will come to me sometime later on bitching about there is hair all over the sink. Well, she didn't see the 99.99% of hairs I cleaned up, she sees 100% of the hairs I left. If she was with me while I cleaned up the original mess, she probably wouldn't bitch about the remaining hairs, but since all she sees is the hair I didn't clean up, she sees it as a big deal.

Anyway, is there a name for this effect?

snfaulkner 07-02-2017 06:00 PM

Bitchy wife syndrome? Mine does it too. I'll do the dishes only to find a bowl or something in the bedroom and plop in the sink. She'll see the bowl and yell at me "for never doing the dishes!"

Velocity 07-02-2017 06:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by snfaulkner (Post 20319963)
Bitchy wife syndrome? Mine does it too. I'll do the dishes only to find a bowl or something in the bedroom and plop in the sink. She'll see the bowl and yell at me "for never doing the dishes!"

I don't think the OP is talking about his wife as the syndrome itself, just citing her as one example out of many.

burpo the wonder mutt 07-02-2017 06:06 PM

I don't know about a name, but put down a towel, covering the sink. When done, bunch up the towel and flip the whiskers into the tub/shower (shake out the towel). Run the spigot, all gone.

Tunnel vision? Selective perception?

watchwolf49 07-02-2017 06:18 PM

Perfectionism?

In the example given, this is almost obsessive ... but I'm thinking you only cleaned up 98.49% of the mess ...

Trinopus 07-02-2017 06:40 PM

Subjective evidence, perhaps, as opposed to objective evidence? If your wife saw all the evidence, in the full context, her judgement might be different.

(True of us all!)

racer72 07-02-2017 10:23 PM

That is why I trim my beard over the trash can. Virtually all ends up in the can, any strays that land in the sink get washed down when I brush my teeth.

sbunny8 07-03-2017 12:14 PM

I think the OP is talking about the effect where you are more acutely aware of what remains behind. This effect is noticeable in many situations.

A professional musician is keenly aware of tiny mistakes (missed notes, etc.) which the audience does not notice.

Drunk driving is seen as a big problem partly because of the fact that we've done such a good job of reducing it, by means of creating a social stigma. The social stigma actually did improve the problem but it also raised awareness on what little part remains.

Vaccines are seen as a nuisance (or worse) precisely because they have done such an outstanding job of reducing or eliminating the diseases, to the point where we have forgotten what the diseases were like.

As you become an expert in any field, you become more and more aware of how vast and complex the subject is and just how much more there is that you have not personally learned.


So, the question remains, what is the name for this effect?

Noel Prosequi 07-03-2017 11:35 PM

Closest I can come is some variant of the 80-20 rule. The idea is that 20% of your staff cause 80% of your problems, and this is generalisable to ideas like 20% of a job takes 80% of the time to do it.

When you were a kid at school, you probably didn't hang out with the naughty kids, you saw your friends, so availability bias led you to think that most kids were just decent kids like you and your mates. When you become a teacher with a aeroplane perspective of the whole of the class, the little shits loom much larger than the good kids, and you come to believe that modern kids are so much worse than back in the day. Variant of the 80-20 phenomenon.

TruCelt 07-03-2017 11:58 PM

A failure of perspective? In some cases, also confirmation bias.

In others, it's "affluenza".

There's also "New carpet syndrome." That's when you finally replace those floors likeyou always wanted - but now the walls look like crap. They need painting . . .

Mangetout 07-04-2017 02:09 AM

I don't know the name for it, but most often when I encounter it, it's the result of poorly defined expectations.

For example: I had a project where the objective was 'improve performance and reliability of printing'. No metrics were set other than "look how awful it is! Make it better! Quickly!".
I made it better (quite a lot better, actually), but because we live in the real world, it still wasn't perfect.
So the feedback/perception from the customer was "Still not perfect, therefore things are not getting better - and therefore your service to us is worse" - objectively wrong, but there was no baseline or defined target.

Andy 07-04-2017 09:58 AM

I now trim my beard in the garden to avoid having to find a name for this situation.

SigMan 07-04-2017 10:43 AM

I know exactly what you're talking about and I think there is a term for it but I can't recall.

You clean up 99.9% of your hair and the wifie see 0.1% of it still in the sink and go off on a tangent.

This is the case of two perspectives. You see it as clean she doesn't.

Perfectionism might be that term as mentioned.

igor frankensteen 07-04-2017 10:43 AM

This thread certainly falls into the category of "missing the real point."

Nate: are you looking for what to call her griping, or what to call your failure to clean up completely after yourself, but think it should be okay with her?

What I see in this situation, is a woman who wants a clean sink, and a guy who wants her to be grateful that he didn't actually leave a deuce in it. So to speak.

I work fixing things for my paltry living. If I fix most of a machine, but the customer still can't use it, I don't expect them to be satisfied.

Slow Moving Vehicle 07-04-2017 10:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by igor frankensteen (Post 20323227)
This thread certainly falls into the category of "missing the real point."

Nate: are you looking for what to call her griping, or what to call your failure to clean up completely after yourself, but think it should be okay with her?

What I see in this situation, is a woman who wants a clean sink, and a guy who wants her to be grateful that he didn't actually leave a deuce in it. So to speak.

I work fixing things for my paltry living. If I fix most of a machine, but the customer still can't use it, I don't expect them to be satisfied.

No, the issue with the OP's beard and his wife is just an example of the phenomenon he's asking about. Can't think what to call it, but "confirmation bias" is pretty close, I think.

nate 07-04-2017 02:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by igor frankensteen (Post 20323227)
This thread certainly falls into the category of "missing the real point."

Nate: are you looking for what to call her griping, or what to call your failure to clean up completely after yourself, but think it should be okay with her?

What I see in this situation, is a woman who wants a clean sink, and a guy who wants her to be grateful that he didn't actually leave a deuce in it. So to speak.

I work fixing things for my paltry living. If I fix most of a machine, but the customer still can't use it, I don't expect them to be satisfied.

Yeah, the hair in the sink is just an example of this pattern. I think the closest idea in this thread to what I'm trying to describe is TruCelt's "New carpet syndrome".

From my perspective, replacing the carpet makes the room look pristine because it was such a big eye-sore to begin with. From someone with a fresh perspective of the room, they don't have the experience of the dramatic difference replacing the carpet made, so they see the crappy walls as the sore thumb.

guizot 07-04-2017 03:12 PM

I think this may be what is called salience effect bias, or saliency bias.

Blue Blistering Barnacle 07-04-2017 03:34 PM

It's the WHYDFML Effect.

(The "What Have You Done For Me Lately?" Effect)

Your welcome.

;)

Icarus 07-04-2017 03:56 PM

ISTM this is in the neighborhood of "mountain out of a molehill", with a sprinkling of the "devil horn effect".

The "devil horn effect" is the opposite of the "halo effect". The "halo effect" being the feeling that someone can do no wrong, and are given leeway for any possible mistakes. With the "devil horn effect" it is the feeling that someone can do no right, and every insignificant error is magnified (or as some might call it, being married to a woman).

kunilou 07-04-2017 03:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nate (Post 20319960)
Anyway, is there a name for this effect?

Perfectionism.

And sometimes it IS a big deal. If you're a cancer patient, do you want your surgeon to tell you, "We got almost all of it"? If you were a passenger on the Titanic, would you be happy to know that 99.9% of the hull wasn't damaged by the iceberg?

As for your wife, before you went into the bathroom there was no hair in the sink. When you came out of the bathroom there was hair in the sink. From her point of view, the solution wasn't a solution.

Grrr! 07-04-2017 04:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Slow Moving Vehicle (Post 20323248)
No, the issue with the OP's beard and his wife is just an example of the phenomenon he's asking about. Can't think what to call it, but "confirmation bias" is pretty close, I think.

I'm inclined to call it relative dissonance. She wasn't there to see the before picture and has nothing relative to judge the "clean" sink by. Where as the OP does.


Like those diet commercials. You see a guy go from 350 to 200 pounds, you think to yourself: "Oh look how skinny he is." Where as, if you just saw the 200 pound guy, you might think: "He Fat"

Blue Blistering Barnacle 07-04-2017 07:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Grrr! (Post 20323780)
I'm inclined to call it relative dissonance. She wasn't there to see the before picture and has nothing relative to judge the "clean" sink by. Where as the OP does.





Like those diet commercials. You see a guy go from 350 to 200 pounds, you think to yourself: "Oh look how skinny he is." Where as, if you just saw the 200 pound guy, you might think: "He Fat"



As I think about this, it's really the OP who is affected by this.

He trims his beard, gets a mountain of hair on the counter, cleans *most* of it up, and thinks, "That's much better!"

His wife walks in and (pretty reasonably) points out, "There's hair on the bathroom counter."

Cat Whisperer 07-05-2017 09:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Icarus (Post 20323702)
<snip> it is the feeling that someone can do no right, and every insignificant error is magnified (or as some might call it, being married to a woman).

Can we not do that? All these hackneyed, mean-spirited "Women always think they're right"/"Men are idiot man-children" memes just make everything worse.

Oddball_92 07-05-2017 09:30 AM

I do not know a name for this situation but perhaps the OP could effectively change his wife's perception about the matter. Simply do not clean up at all after trimming. Perhaps the wife will have a melt down or two, but after a while the OP can then return to his "incomplete" cleanup practice and the wife will then be grateful that he is at least trying and has made much improvement.
........or maybe not.

pulykamell 07-05-2017 10:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oddball_92 (Post 20324792)
I do not know a name for this situation but perhaps the OP could effectively change his wife's perception about the matter. Simply do not clean up at all after trimming. Perhaps the wife will have a melt down or two, but after a while the OP can then return to his "incomplete" cleanup practice and the wife will then be grateful that he is at least trying and has made much improvement.
........or maybe not.

For the sake of science, I endorse this idea! OP, please keep a detailed experiment log and report back regularly.

SigMan 07-05-2017 10:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pulykamell (Post 20324893)
For the sake of science, I endorse this idea! OP, please keep a detailed experiment log and report back regularly.

If he can. :rolleyes:

Thudlow Boink 07-05-2017 10:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Grrr! (Post 20323780)
I'm inclined to call it relative dissonance. She wasn't there to see the before picture and has nothing relative to judge the "clean" sink by. Where as the OP does.


Like those diet commercials. You see a guy go from 350 to 200 pounds, you think to yourself: "Oh look how skinny he is." Where as, if you just saw the 200 pound guy, you might think: "He Fat"

Anchoring.

Is this good or bad, high or low, clean or dirty?

Compared to what?

kunilou 07-05-2017 10:37 AM

I found it. Selective perception.

Quote:

It is a broad term to identify the behavior all people exhibit to tend to "see things" based on their particular frame of reference.
That particular cite focuses on media messages, but it holds true for all types of stimuli. Once something catches your attention, it becomes the thing you focus on.

See also Blue Car Syndrome.

burpo the wonder mutt 07-05-2017 10:40 AM

^ Psst: post #4.

Blue Blistering Barnacle 07-05-2017 11:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink (Post 20324915)
Anchoring.



Is this good or bad, high or low, clean or dirty?



Compared to what?



IMHO, I think "anchoring" may be the best descriptor for OP situation I've seen offered so far.

Icarus 07-05-2017 12:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cat Whisperer (Post 20324745)
Can we not do that? All these hackneyed, mean-spirited "Women always think they're right"/"Men are idiot man-children" memes just make everything worse.

.....walk a mile in my shoes....

Knowed Out 07-05-2017 01:29 PM

I would have labeled it non-contextual bias, but I like Anchoring better and intend to use it in conversation from now on.

Isilder 07-05-2017 06:29 PM

Well, there is a name that common people commonly say when they have worked and worked and worked, and used up their initial estimate of work time well and truely, 200%, 300%.. etc
and find that the problem they were meant to be getting rid of still remains.

"thats life" they say, naming it life.

Tim R. Mortiss 07-05-2017 06:38 PM

Her: "That sink isn't clean!"

Me: "Well, it's 'boy clean'."

For the record, I trim my beard in the shower, just before I take a shower.

Atamasama 07-05-2017 07:18 PM

Totally not the point of this thread, I know, but I'm a beard guy and trim a few times a week. Get a trimmer with a vacuum built in. It makes the whole process so much easier. It won't catch all the hair but the 5% that gets on the sink is much faster and easier to clean. You then dump out the extra captured in the trimmer's hair reservoir into the trash.

Cub Mistress 07-05-2017 09:46 PM

Rashomon_effect?

Blue Blistering Barnacle 07-06-2017 06:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Atamasama (Post 20326000)
Totally not the point of this thread, I know, but I'm a beard guy and trim a few times a week. Get a trimmer with a vacuum built in. It makes the whole process so much easier. It won't catch all the hair but the 5% that gets on the sink is much faster and easier to clean. You then dump out the extra captured in the trimmer's hair reservoir into the trash.



I found my vacuum trimmer to be worse than a regular trimmer and not much cleaner. I try to run outside on the lawn with a hand mirror when I can.

When the weather doesn't permit it, I do it over a trash basket. I may try the towel trick mentioned upthread.

furryman 07-07-2017 11:12 AM

A few years back Jacksonville FL had the lowest homicide rate in 20 years. Every year since then when it's gone up the media acts like the police are staffed by a bunch of Keystone cops. I call it "stupidity".

Maus Magill 07-07-2017 11:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by snfaulkner (Post 20319963)
I'll do the dishes only to find a bowl or something in the bedroom and plop in the sink. She'll see the bowl and yell at me "for never doing the dishes!"

Am I the only one bothered by this? Why would you have dishes in the bedroom?

Cayuga 07-07-2017 11:41 AM

Because someone took a snack into the bedroom?

No, it doesn't bother me.

misling 07-07-2017 01:21 PM

It seems similar in principal to the code-estimation problem: the first 90% of the problem takes 90% of the time, then the second 10% of the problem takes the other 90% of the time.
There are several versions of this formulation in computer science.

In your case, cleaning the first 90% of hairs makes it 90% clean, but the remaining 10% of hairs make it still 90% dirty :)

Obscure Pop-culture Reference 07-08-2017 02:31 AM

Could it be something along the lines of suvivorship bias?
In the sense that loking at the situation ignoring the previous events leads to an error in evaluation?

Major Matt Mason 07-09-2017 08:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Velocity (Post 20319967)
I don't think the OP is talking about his wife as the syndrome itself, just citing her as one example out of many.

E Problemus Unum? ;)

dstarfire 07-10-2017 09:51 PM

I'm not aware of an english term for it, but I'd be very surprised if some foreign language doesn't a rather elegant depiction of it.

"Baseline" captures part of the issue. Your baseline (for the sink, at least) is what it looked like before you cleaned it, while your wife's baseline is the sink's condition before you shaved. Thus the final condition is improved from your baseline, but below your wife's baseline.

Atamasama 07-10-2017 10:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cayuga (Post 20329559)
Because someone took a snack into the bedroom?

No, it doesn't bother me.

Any given night I might have a bowl, tiny plate, or glass in the bedroom.

It can't be that odd to enjoy a bit of ice cream, or a few cookies, or a drink of some sort before going to sleep.

Atamasama 07-10-2017 10:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Blue Blistering Barnacle (Post 20328174)
I found my vacuum trimmer to be worse than a regular trimmer and not much cleaner.

You bought a really bad model. Some are like that, I bought one like that recently and the vacuum was less than useless and blew the hair around the sink making things worse. I returned it. A decent one (like the replacement I bought) will get the vast majority of the hair.

PatrickLondon 07-11-2017 01:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by guizot (Post 20323638)
I think this may be what is called salience effect bias, or saliency bias.

The non-scientific answer might be "not seeing the wood for the trees".

This is a distant cousin to the problem of the caretaker's bicycle (where a committee will spend half an hour arguing about where the caretaker's bicycle should be stored and then vote through a multi-million project more or less on the nod).

Doug K. 07-14-2017 12:27 PM

Before this gets too stale, on a similar note more than once I've been on the receiving end of this scenario:

Wife comes home from store, stuffs bags and packaging from new purchases into empty trashcan filling it to overflowing in one fell swoop, then immediately complains that "you never take out the trash."

Bullitt 07-14-2017 12:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nate (Post 20319960)
Anyway, is there a name for this effect?

Yes. The name is marriage.

Jackmannii 07-14-2017 01:12 PM

I sympathize with the OP. I'm reminded of when there's a commercial jet crash, and everyone ignores the fact that 99.9999% of flights that day took off and landed safely.

Anyway, if the problem is marriage, the solution is separate bathrooms.

*occasionally I clean plant pots in the kitchen sink. You'd think that my washing the vast majority of soil particles down the drain would be sufficient, but no. :mad:


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