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Author Topic: Cognitive Dissonance and Cult Ham Products  (Read 823 times)
K0OD
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« on: December 22, 2008, 11:49:03 AM »

Cognitive Dissonance... cult antennas, the newest DSP filter, and that IC-7800 which hears SOOO much better than last years radio.  

CD, among other things, deals with what happens when someone profoundly believes that flying saucers will pick him up from the Holiday Inn in Paramus (thanks Ghostbusters), and the saucer doesn't arrive.

Very, very few people say, I was wrong.

Lessons from psychology and marketing.

http://skepdic.com/cognitivedissonance.html
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K0OD
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« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2008, 12:09:00 PM »

"Fighting Cognitive Dissonance & The Lies We Tell Ourselves"


"... Cognitive-dissonance is just one of many biases that work in our everyday lives. We don’t like to believe that we may be wrong, so we may limit our intake of new information or thinking about things in ways that don’t fit within our pre-existing beliefs. Psychologists call this “confirmation bias.

We also don’t like to second-guess our choices, even if later they are proven wrong or unwise. By second-guessing ourselves, we suggest we may not be as wise or as right as we’ve led ourselves to believe. This may lead us to commit to a particular course of action and become insensitive to and reject alternative, perhaps better, courses that come to light. That’s why many people seek to avoid or minimize regret in their lives, and seek “closure” — imposing a definitive end to an event or relationship. It reduces the possibility of future cognitive dissonance."

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2008/10/19/fighting-cognitive-dissonance-the-lies-we-tell-ourselves/

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K1BXI
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« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2008, 12:25:19 PM »

I'm not sure if I have this or not.....maybe I have it when I talk about my G5RV.

John
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K6AER
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« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2008, 12:58:31 PM »

It is just a matter of time before this gets into a radio bitch session so I might as well get the ball rolling.

Despite many months of rewriting software for the much valued K3, the transmitter still has a 3rd. order transmitter two-tone SSB IMD of 29 dB. When I hear hams using the K3 on SSB the audio never sounds quite right.

The receiver has a distortion of 10% at two watts into a 4 ohm load. What good does all that receiver dynamic range do when what you listen to is distorted? At radio shack you can buy a car stereo with .1% audio distortion at 20 watts per channel for $79.00. As a matter of fact this also hold true for the $10,000 radio as well.

I’m sure the K3 crowd will be up in arms over the above statement but when I tested the overall operation of the K3 radio I’ll wait for the K4 to come out. So when they ask how is my transmit audio sounds I pick my words carefully. Every now and then I hear a good K3 on the air but it seems to have nothing to do with the microphone.

I realize the above is a bit of a rant but what you hear in everyone’s voice is,” I just paid over $3000 for the radio how great does it sound?”  If they only knew.

Everyone knows a factory built G5RV will outperform a homemade dipole by 10 dB or more.
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VK1OD
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« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2008, 01:05:07 PM »


Jeff,

I think back, and I am sure the problem has always existed in my experience in ham radio.

It is more prevalent now as we devalue the science of ham radio, the technical experimentation component, the developing technical competence. We have created the vacuum that enterprising snake oil salesman are eager to fill.

BTW, I don't think there is any room for the 'get a decent antenna' follow ups in a recent thread. Not only is it ill-informed and unfriendly, but the realisation that the "space ship is not coming" can only come from within the believer. As we have seen, it can be a revelation, but sometimes just a new faith based answer.

Reviews that use language like "this antenna really rocks" will appeal to some readers who will develop an urgent need for the magic, but those looking for a science based evaluation will probably dismiss the review or most of it.

There will always remain an undercurrent of science in ham radio.

Owen
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W7ETA
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« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2008, 01:16:41 PM »

A good example of Cog Diss would be posting a topic about it in the Elmer section?

Thanks for the entertainment.

73
Bob
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K1BXI
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« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2008, 01:18:08 PM »

"Everyone knows a factory built G5RV will outperform a homemade dipole by 10 dB or more."

That's my problem.......mine is home brew with 300 ohm line. I'll buy one and with that 10 dB gain I'll donate the Alpha to a deserving ham.

John  
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N5LRZ
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« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2008, 01:28:49 PM »

Ground breaking technology does not come slwoly.  It comes in spurts out the nowhere of rumor.

As far as cult products go, there has always been delusions either manufactured or personal illogical wishes.

Weither something is a true ground breaking technology or fact should and ought to be based solely and ONLY on proven documented facts rather than rumor.  Unfortunately the CB MYTHISM and delusionary urban legend always seems to find a way into our urban legend as well  Sad
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AC5UP
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« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2008, 01:44:25 PM »

All I know is that anything less than a pair of 2A3's in push-pull is less than a pair of 2A3's in push-pull and no one can argue with that................!
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WB9URN
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« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2008, 02:01:22 PM »

This thread makes me think that a lot of hams are getting into the egg nog early.(or the LSD

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N3OX
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« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2008, 02:50:36 PM »

Is it cognitive dissonance or is it that **enjoyment of ham radio** has almost nothing to do with technical specs of ANYTHING except for the most demanding of hams, contesters and real weak signal DXers...

It would drive me nuts leaving 4dB or 6dB laying around the shack because I didn't want to build and maintain a remote tuner instead of just running coax to my vertical antennas, but in the grand scheme of things, a lot of people can't actually tell the difference between 0dBi and -6dBi gain because they don't try.

As far as radios go, the shiny new radio has a lot going for it in simply being shiny and new.

As far as I'm concerned, any given ham can go around thinking whatever they like about their stuff.  I just get a little tweaked and speak up when I know someone is **recommending something bad** to some new guy based on how good they feel about their radio or antenna.

But I don't think I have to sort out why people persist to use terrible antennas and have fun with ham radio.  Ham radio's a ton of fun using horrible antennas.  

73
Dan
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73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
K0BG
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« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2008, 03:12:39 PM »

Here's what I want to know.

Why on earth do people ask others to help them decide which radio to buy? Perhaps it's because they've already made up their mind and want confirmation (the mommy may I syndrome)? Or perhaps they've read the Reviews section here on eham.net where almost every product is 4 by 5 or better? Maybe they're just too lazy to do the research themselves? Or, they're gullible, which I'd bet is the case the vast majority of the time! If it weren't so, all of the snake-oiled products being sold to amateurs would languish on the shelves. That's the way it used to be!

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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VE3GNU
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« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2008, 03:17:07 PM »

Sounds very much akin to the title of a 'Masters Thesis'---
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K0OD
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« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2008, 03:28:02 PM »

VK1OD: "I think back, and I am sure the problem has always existed in my experience in ham radio. "


Two product fads spring to mind: Outboard preselectors (around 1960 AND 1980) and DSP noise reduction filters in the 1990s. Generally sensible DXers with full bore stations swore those cumbersome gizmos enabled them to ragchew with DX that they couldn't even detect otherwise. Both products COULD be useful, but the claimed benefits for a good station were generally fantasy.

How did that puffery happen when both products could be switched on/off for instant comparison? We're talking about some very interesting and didactic psychology. And for MFJ, Timewave, Ameco and Palomar there was fast money to be made!

I guess any almost-extra-terrestrial receiving enhancement lasted about as long as the warranty period, as both products usually soon went disused.
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KB9CRY
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« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2008, 07:29:14 PM »

Ask Art.
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