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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Who’s to blame?

Categories: ,
In one of individual psychology class, we were given following artificial story. Read it as it is, and suppress ‘what if’, ‘why didn’t she’, ‘why didn’t he’, ‘that’s so stupid’ types of thoughts that may come to your mind.

A man and woman lived unhappily married. Man remained busy in his work, didn’t spend much time with her wife, and while he materially took care of his wife, housewife felt neglected. One afternoon she goes to market, on other side of river crossing the bridge, to buy some vegetables. While returning she meets a handsome stranger and is immediately charmed. She spends time with him yielding to his passion. In evening she hurries for home before her husband comes from work. To her horror, she finds a mentally unstable maniac on the bridge wielding an axe. There is no one in sight except a lone ferry driver. Exploiting the opportunity, he demands exorbitant price to take her across the river on his boat. Not having so much money with her, she goes back to town, meets her best friend, explains her situation, and requests to borrow required money. Disapproving her infidel conduct, her friend refuses to lend to her. Woman tries to go back to stranger man, but he also refuses to have anything to do with her despite their earlier exploits. Disheartened, she begs to boat owner, but he too doesn’t budge. In desperation, she makes a run on the bridge, and is caught and killed by the maniac.

Rank all characters (husband, wife/woman, stranger man, woman’s friend, ferry driver, maniac murderer) of the story in decreasing order of degree of responsibility for woman’s death.

While this may appear simple story, and you are convinced of your rank order, you would be surprised how many different combinations people can come up with in such a simple story. I was, very much. And some of these were just too absurd for me. Of course, there is no ‘right’ answer, but it gives a lot of insight into other person's mind, plus it's fun anyway. What's your ranking?

7 comments:

Abhishek said...

1. Govt (for not treating / securing the mentally unstable maniac)
2. Wife / Woman (Valuing life less than high price of truck / ferry)
3. Woman's Friend (Worthless gyan on morality)
4. Stranger Man (Not helping someone whom you know 'well')

Ashish Gupta said...

Bola tha na ki apna dimaag jyaada mat lagana!! Govt ko chhod do yaar.

And woman didn't have money to give so it's not question of valuation. She could have negotiated other deal with ferry driver but then we are excluding alternative scenarios.

But I agree that woman tops my list too. You'd be surprised to see that husband topped list for many.

Abhishek said...

Not sure why husband should be made guilty.. their relationship (good or bad) does not change the basics of the case here. The woman would had anyway went to buy vegetables. Now what she does en route is her responsibility. Non caring Husband may lead her to do infidelity which is a separate debate but here we are questioning murder.

Ashish Gupta said...

Precisely, but that's the element of surprise here. Ask your friends. I thought that only women could possibly somehow justify ranking husband on top but in my class there were many men who too did so. And throw in rest of the characters and debate can rage on forever :)

Abhishek said...

so whats the psyco analysis of this story ? What do experts say based on different ranking order ?

Ashish Gupta said...

Nothing :p

I don't think there is any right answer or official interpretation except just for fun or that how different people react to simple facts based on their preconception, biases or priorities in life.

You can use to judge compatibility with your potential mate. Can be used to understand perception in life of blame, fate, responsibility, morality, friendship, marriage, greed and duties. Wow, what've I come up with! 36 guna ki bajay 6 gun mila lena :)

Abhishek said...

haha... yeah.. I know thr cannot be right or wrong answer... but kind of interpretation of people's psyche based on the answer...

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