I just thought of something and had to stop what I was doing to share it and see you could help me find out if it holds true.
Could everyone from every branch of humanity agree to follow a formula when considering information? I took a stab at such a formula below.
Qualification / Motivation = Relevance.
I am not sure if relevance is the right term to use, but what I am trying to tease out is how much consideration we should give to someone’s argument or information.
Here is an example.
Let’s say we were trying to figure out what college football program is currently in the best position to have success over the next five years.
If Nick Saban, the head football coach at the University of Alabama was consulted for this question, he would have a very high score in qualification, having won three national championships in the last eight years, he would probably know better than anyone what characteristics are most likely to produce a successful college football program.
However, what if he answered that he thought Alabama would have the best upcoming five-year run in college football? He is more motivated than anyone to have this be agreed upon by as many people as possible. He is monetarily rewarded for championships among other benefits. In college football especially, if Alabama is considered the most likely of successful programs, he will recruit better players for such an opportunity, encourage donations from alumni, and even spending by the fan base.
Let’s use a 1-100 scale for both qualification and motivation for now.
In this case, Nick Saban, although he would score a hypothetical “100” on “qualification”, his “motivation” for answering the way that he did would score him a “100” as well, leaving him with a relevance score of “1.”
In contrast, what if another highly-qualified coach, let’s say Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer, who has won two national championships, answers the same question by saying he believes that the University of Michigan is in the best position to have success over the next five years.
Meyer’s qualification score would be near 100, we will go with “98” in this example. However, his motivation for answering with the “University of Michigan” would be as close to “1” as you can get. Aside from maybe a friend or two working on staff, Michigan is his team’s most-hated rival in both on-field competition and in recruiting. By answering “Michigan,” he would be doing damage to his obvious motivations.
In this case, Meyer’s score for answering the way that he did would be “98” (98 divided by 1), in contrast to Saban’s score of “1.”
This is a very elementary view of this problem, both in mathematical sophistication and by example.
Any help or arguments against?