On the importance of Empiricism
It is important to test your assumptions. Take for instance my recent experience coming to lab with the game Boggle. For those not in the know, Boggle is a word game, like scrabble, in which one rolls a 4x4 grid of letter-dice and tries to find as many words as possible in three minutes. Needless to say, really fun game, quick paced, portable, and good for any sized group. I knew Boggle was sure to be extraordinarily popular.
My concern when bringing Boggle into the lab was the potential for foreign exclusion. We have workers born in China, Poland, and Serbia and I thought a word game might put out our non-native English speakers. But, much to my surprise, the opposite proved true. Not only did non-native speakers take to the game, it became a favorite. Jin-ju still wants to play after everyone else is exhausted. Perhaps it should have been obvious in retrospect, that while Boggle is an idle amusement to some of us, it is a chance for others to flex their English muscles.
Which brings me round to my point: Its important to be experimental in life. No matter how smart, experienced or intuitive you are, there are undoubtedly a vast array of outcomes you would never expect if you were to sit around musing all day. This point is clear to see, but difficult to appreciate because we have a tendency to exclude those possibilities that are beyond our expectations.
"If we only look for things we expect to find we will only find what we expect to see."