Psychological correlates of deletionism/inclusionism?

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Psychological correlates of deletionism/inclusionism?

Gwern Branwen
Some recent musings reminded me that I never did find a good answer
for an old question of mine: does anything predict whether an editor
will lean towards deletionism?

More specifically, it seems to me that attitudes towards articles take
on almost emotional or moral dimensions, perhaps related to various
psychological factors. Does anyone remember ever seeing any research
touching on this? For example, perhaps someone surveyed editors,
asking for self-identified preference and doing an inventory measuring
personality factors like the OCEAN/Big Five? Of course I checked
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deletionism_and_inclusionism_in_Wikipedia
and Google but nothing particularly germane appears to have popped up
besides random speculation and analogies to Adorno's famous
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Authoritarian_Personality

--
gwern
http://www.gwern.net

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Re: Psychological correlates of deletionism/inclusionism?

Tom Morris-5
On Saturday, 13 April 2013 at 05:10, Gwern Branwen wrote:
> Some recent musings reminded me that I never did find a good answer
> for an old question of mine: does anything predict whether an editor
> will lean towards deletionism?



I'm waiting for extreme inclusionists or deletionists to produce some high-quality, not-at-all bullshit research that shows that failure to adhere to their preferred philosophy is something that shows a deep psychological tendency to rape kittens.

That'll elevate the debate, I'm sure.

--
Tom Morris
<http://tommorris.org/>



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Re: Psychological correlates of deletionism/inclusionism?

Fred Bauder-2
In reply to this post by Gwern Branwen
Obviously toilet training is involved. That is the source of the anal
personality. Need a study of toilet training of future editors...

Fred

> Some recent musings reminded me that I never did find a good answer
> for an old question of mine: does anything predict whether an editor
> will lean towards deletionism?
>
> More specifically, it seems to me that attitudes towards articles take
> on almost emotional or moral dimensions, perhaps related to various
> psychological factors. Does anyone remember ever seeing any research
> touching on this? For example, perhaps someone surveyed editors,
> asking for self-identified preference and doing an inventory measuring
> personality factors like the OCEAN/Big Five? Of course I checked
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deletionism_and_inclusionism_in_Wikipedia
> and Google but nothing particularly germane appears to have popped up
> besides random speculation and analogies to Adorno's famous
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Authoritarian_Personality
>
> --
> gwern
> http://www.gwern.net
>
> _______________________________________________
> WikiEN-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l
>



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Re: Psychological correlates of deletionism/inclusionism?

Gwern Branwen-2
In reply to this post by Tom Morris-5
On Sat, Apr 13, 2013 at 2:36 AM, Tom Morris <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I'm waiting for extreme inclusionists or deletionists to produce some high-quality, not-at-all bullshit research that shows that failure to adhere to their preferred philosophy is something that shows a deep psychological tendency to rape kittens.
>
> That'll elevate the debate, I'm sure.

On Sat, Apr 13, 2013 at 8:06 AM, Fred Bauder <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Obviously toilet training is involved. That is the source of the anal
> personality. Need a study of toilet training of future editors...

Thanks for your contributions, guys, they were really helpful and not
at all completely useless and off-topic and exactly what I was hoping
not to see.

--
gwern
http://www.gwern.net

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Re: Psychological correlates of deletionism/inclusionism?

Carcharoth
In reply to this post by Gwern Branwen
If you want anecdotal evidence, I would say that someone's first
encounter with AfD can set them firmly in one place on the spectrum,
but that most people who stick around see their views evolve as they
come to understand sources and the range of articles topics and
various problems better. Whether there is an underlying
predisposition, I don't know. I hope this was more helpful than the
other replies you received! :-)

On 4/13/13, Gwern Branwen <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Some recent musings reminded me that I never did find a good answer
> for an old question of mine: does anything predict whether an editor
> will lean towards deletionism?
>
> More specifically, it seems to me that attitudes towards articles take
> on almost emotional or moral dimensions, perhaps related to various
> psychological factors. Does anyone remember ever seeing any research
> touching on this? For example, perhaps someone surveyed editors,
> asking for self-identified preference and doing an inventory measuring
> personality factors like the OCEAN/Big Five? Of course I checked
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deletionism_and_inclusionism_in_Wikipedia
> and Google but nothing particularly germane appears to have popped up
> besides random speculation and analogies to Adorno's famous
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Authoritarian_Personality
>
> --
> gwern
> http://www.gwern.net
>
> _______________________________________________
> WikiEN-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l
>

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Re: Psychological correlates of deletionism/inclusionism?

David Carson-5
In reply to this post by Gwern Branwen-2
What were you hoping to see?

Obviously, either some sound peer-reviewed research displaying that
"deletionists" suffer from deep-seated psychological problems that make
them clinically unfit to work on a collaborative project; or some sound
peer-reviewed research displaying that "inclusionists" suffer from some
other, similarly severe, deep-seated psychological problems.

I'm not sure which of the two you're fishing for, though.

Cheers,
David...



On Sun, Apr 14, 2013 at 1:53 AM, Gwern Branwen <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Sat, Apr 13, 2013 at 2:36 AM, Tom Morris <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > I'm waiting for extreme inclusionists or deletionists to produce some
> high-quality, not-at-all bullshit research that shows that failure to
> adhere to their preferred philosophy is something that shows a deep
> psychological tendency to rape kittens.
> >
> > That'll elevate the debate, I'm sure.
>
> On Sat, Apr 13, 2013 at 8:06 AM, Fred Bauder <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> > Obviously toilet training is involved. That is the source of the anal
> > personality. Need a study of toilet training of future editors...
>
> Thanks for your contributions, guys, they were really helpful and not
> at all completely useless and off-topic and exactly what I was hoping
> not to see.
>
> --
> gwern
> http://www.gwern.net
>
> _______________________________________________
> WikiEN-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l
>
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Re: Psychological correlates of deletionism/inclusionism?

Gwern Branwen-2
On Sat, Apr 13, 2013 at 4:22 PM, David Carson <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Obviously, either some sound peer-reviewed research displaying that
> "deletionists" suffer from deep-seated psychological problems that make
> them clinically unfit to work on a collaborative project; or some sound
> peer-reviewed research displaying that "inclusionists" suffer from some
> other, similarly severe, deep-seated psychological problems.

I'm not 'hoping' to see anything. The absence of any correlations
would be just as interesting because a lot of people seem to think the
opposite.

My basic observation here is that inclusionism/deletionism debates
seem intractable, like religion and politics, which have long been
correlated with a variety of mental and neurological observations and
this deep-seated roots of those beliefs seems to explain why politics
is so wasteful and damaging; hence the obvious question becomes, is
inclusionism/deletionism another such case?

But such findings would not tell us which side (or both) is the
intractable party. Merely from a correlation you can't infer which
side is right, since there's always two sides to a coin and you don't
know whose beliefs are correct. (Suppose a survey found Republicans
are more fearful of foreigners and foreign countries than Democrats;
well, this is interesting but what does it actually show? Where can we
get the ground truth on this question, what fact would we point to to
prove that Republicans are wrong to fear foreigners/foreign-countries
and allow us to draw a conclusion like 'Republican politics are driven
by excessive fear'? If they were actually right to fear foreigners,
then this finding would be better interpreted as 'Democrats
pathologically optimistic / naive', and of course, both sides could be
wrong on how dangerous foreigners were, in which case we might
conclude both that Republicans are driven by excessive fear while
those suffering from mindless optimism and naivete align with the
Democrats. Just because two groups are arguing doesn't mean either one
is right.)

--
gwern
http://www.gwern.net

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Re: Psychological correlates of deletionism/inclusionism?

Carcharoth
On 4/13/13, Gwern Branwen <[hidden email]> wrote:

> My basic observation here is that inclusionism/deletionism debates
> seem intractable, like religion and politics, which have long been
> correlated with a variety of mental and neurological observations and
> this deep-seated roots of those beliefs seems to explain why politics
> is so wasteful and damaging; hence the obvious question becomes, is
> inclusionism/deletionism another such case?

I think there is actually a sensible middle ground, which gets lost
because those with more extreme views are more vocal. That is similar
to politics in a way. And why would you think that
inclusionism/deletionism debates are intractable? I thought the idea
that such terms should be avoided (as they are divisive) was taking
hold and gaining ground?

Carcharoth

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Re: Psychological correlates of deletionism/inclusionism?

David Gerard-2
On 13 April 2013 23:42, Carcharoth <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On 4/13/13, Gwern Branwen <[hidden email]> wrote:

>> My basic observation here is that inclusionism/deletionism debates
>> seem intractable, like religion and politics, which have long been
>> correlated with a variety of mental and neurological observations and
>> this deep-seated roots of those beliefs seems to explain why politics
>> is so wasteful and damaging; hence the obvious question becomes, is
>> inclusionism/deletionism another such case?

> I think there is actually a sensible middle ground, which gets lost
> because those with more extreme views are more vocal. That is similar
> to politics in a way. And why would you think that
> inclusionism/deletionism debates are intractable? I thought the idea
> that such terms should be avoided (as they are divisive) was taking
> hold and gaining ground?


I'm broadly an inclusionist, but by crikey there's a lot of utter,
utter shit on the wiki. I've been nominating hopeless shite lately,
for AFD or even just PROD. Not much, you understand. I can give it up
any time.


- d.

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Re: Psychological correlates of deletionism/inclusionism?

Gwern Branwen-2
In reply to this post by Carcharoth
On Sat, Apr 13, 2013 at 6:42 PM, Carcharoth <[hidden email]> wrote:
> And why would you think that
> inclusionism/deletionism debates are intractable? I thought the idea
> that such terms should be avoided (as they are divisive) was taking
> hold and gaining ground?

We're getting a bit far afield (I was just hoping for some citations
to academic research I could look up), but since you asked... My own
impression was that the debates were never resolved so much as the
inclusionists driven out. Just look at the editor population numbers
from the last 9 years, since 2006, or look at the article growth
rates. Has the Foundation succeeded in keeping the editor population
from dropping (never mind growing, or growing as fast as the
Internet)? I've tracked some of the public goals and they've failed
entirely.

If you hear silence, it may be the silence of the content, happily
cooperating as they beaver away at their particular articles - or it
may be the silence of the grave.

Why do you never hear complaints from inclusionists about Star Wars
articles being deleted? Because so many were deleted that the involved
editors finally bit the bullet and escaped to Wikia, and the only ones
that are left are either ones onboard with rigid constrictive policies
or have seen their efforts fail and learned to comply with the current
regime. What happened with Star Wars could be said of many of the
Wikias. (One of the more amusing Wikipedia conspiracy theories I've
seen is that Wales & Angela deliberately encouraged or let En slide
towards deletionism because it provided a demand for his Wikia
startup. I doubt they intended any such thing, but the effect was the
same.) And after a while, people have enough run-ins with Wikipedians
or hear about such run-ins that they learn Wikipedia is no longer
friendly to a wide variety of topics and to not even try, so one then
cannot even point to content-generating communities migrating off
Wikipedia because the communities have learned to not use Wikipedia in
the first place but use Wikia or any of the many other options
available. Hence, an 'evaporative cooling' of participants
(http://lesswrong.com/lw/lr/evaporative_cooling_of_group_beliefs/) as
editors leave.

--
gwern
http://www.gwern.net

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Re: Psychological correlates of deletionism/inclusionism?

Fred Bauder-2

> Why do you never hear complaints from inclusionists about Star Wars
> articles being deleted? Because so many were deleted that the involved
> editors finally bit the bullet and escaped to Wikia, and the only ones
> that are left are either ones onboard with rigid constrictive policies
> or have seen their efforts fail and learned to comply with the current
> regime. What happened with Star Wars could be said of many of the
> Wikias. (One of the more amusing Wikipedia conspiracy theories I've
> seen is that Wales & Angela deliberately encouraged or let En slide
> towards deletionism because it provided a demand for his Wikia
> startup. I doubt they intended any such thing, but the effect was the
> same.) .
>
> --
> gwern
> http://www.gwern.net

Jimbo and Angela did not play a significant role in debates over
inclusion and deletion; it just happens that people with a passion for a
subject treasure every detail which makes for a good wikia wiki.

Fred


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Re: Psychological correlates of deletionism/inclusionism?

Gwern Branwen-2
On Sat, Apr 13, 2013 at 7:54 PM, Fred Bauder <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Jimbo and Angela did not play a significant role in debates over
> inclusion and deletion

Indeed, that was my point. I don't think they did anything, or
intended anything of the kind, but they chose not to intervene back
when the gradual slide could have been stopped and so the ultimate
effect was much the same. (Amusingly eventually leading to a nasty
surprise for Jimbo with Mzoli's.)

--
gwern
http://www.gwern.net

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Re: Psychological correlates of deletionism/inclusionism?

David Gerard-2
On 14 April 2013 01:29, Gwern Branwen <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On Sat, Apr 13, 2013 at 7:54 PM, Fred Bauder <[hidden email]> wrote:

>> Jimbo and Angela did not play a significant role in debates over
>> inclusion and deletion

> Indeed, that was my point. I don't think they did anything, or
> intended anything of the kind, but they chose not to intervene back
> when the gradual slide could have been stopped and so the ultimate
> effect was much the same. (Amusingly eventually leading to a nasty
> surprise for Jimbo with Mzoli's.)


You're assuming they could have, and that this would have been worth
doing. I don't think there's any reasonable basis for such an
assumption, as it carries the implicit assumption that we understood
Wikipedia well enough to make that sort of intervention, and that's
definitely false. I still don't think we really know quite how this
damn thing works, for all the millions of words wasted on the effort,
and I don't consider the many incompatible hypotheses of how it does
cohere to form evidence otherwise.


- d.

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Re: Psychological correlates of deletionism/inclusionism?

Fred Bauder-2
In reply to this post by Gwern Branwen-2
> On Sat, Apr 13, 2013 at 7:54 PM, Fred Bauder <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>> Jimbo and Angela did not play a significant role in debates over
>> inclusion and deletion
>
> Indeed, that was my point. I don't think they did anything, or
> intended anything of the kind, but they chose not to intervene back
> when the gradual slide could have been stopped and so the ultimate
> effect was much the same. (Amusingly eventually leading to a nasty
> surprise for Jimbo with Mzoli's.)
>
> --
> gwern
> http://www.gwern.net

Once the herd got going, no one had much affect.

Fred


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Re: Psychological correlates of deletionism/inclusionism?

Fred Bauder-2
In reply to this post by Gwern Branwen
> On Sat, Apr 13, 2013 at 7:54 PM, Fred Bauder <[hidden email]>
wrote:
>> Jimbo and Angela did not play a significant role in debates over
inclusion and deletion
>
> Indeed, that was my point. I don't think they did anything, or
> intended anything of the kind, but they chose not to intervene back
when the gradual slide could have been stopped and so the ultimate
effect was much the same. (Amusingly eventually leading to a nasty
surprise for Jimbo with Mzoli's.)
>
> --
> gwern
> http://www.gwern.net

Once the herd got going, no one had much effect.

Fred




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Re: Psychological correlates of deletionism/inclusionism?

Gwern Branwen-2
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
On Sat, Apr 13, 2013 at 8:34 PM, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:
> You're assuming they could have, and that this would have been worth
> doing. I don't think there's any reasonable basis for such an
> assumption, as it carries the implicit assumption that we understood
> Wikipedia well enough to make that sort of intervention, and that's
> definitely false.

Of course they *could* have tried. What we'll never know is if they
would have succeeded, because they didn't try. Gardner and the
Foundation seemed to eventually realize the problem, but eh, barn
doors and horses.

On Sat, Apr 13, 2013 at 8:39 PM, Fred Bauder <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Once the herd got going, no one had much affect.

Managing the herd is what leaders were for.

--
gwern
http://www.gwern.net

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Re: Psychological correlates of deletionism/inclusionism?

Charles Matthews
In reply to this post by Gwern Branwen-2
On 13 April 2013 22:12, Gwern Branwen <[hidden email]> wrote:

> My basic observation here is that inclusionism/deletionism debates
> seem intractable [...]

Indeed. As is characteristic of false dichotomies.

I was once asked by a prominent journalist where I stood on this. I
replied that it was a boring question. And that once I had defined
myself as deletionist on science topics, where we don't want cruft and
pseudo, and inclusionist on humanities topics, where we really cannot
always know what the academics will turn to next.

Charles

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Re: Psychological correlates of deletionism/inclusionism?

Fred Bauder-2
In reply to this post by Gwern Branwen-2

>
> On Sat, Apr 13, 2013 at 8:39 PM, Fred Bauder <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>> Once the herd got going, no one had much affect.
>
> Managing the herd is what leaders were for.
>
> --
> gwern
> http://www.gwern.net

In hierarchical organizations; Wikipedia is, more or less, horizontally
organized.

But, as Christ said, "Feed my sheep."

Fred


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Re: Psychological correlates of deletionism/inclusionism?

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by Charles Matthews
On 14 April 2013 11:44, Charles Matthews
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> Indeed. As is characteristic of false dichotomies.
> I was once asked by a prominent journalist where I stood on this. I
> replied that it was a boring question. And that once I had defined
> myself as deletionist on science topics, where we don't want cruft and
> pseudo, and inclusionist on humanities topics, where we really cannot
> always know what the academics will turn to next.


When people from TV come asking for a (quote) "passionate deletionist" -

http://www.mail-archive.com/wikimediauk-l@.../msg01448.html

- we're well past the time of being able to talk sensibly in such polar terms.


- d.

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Re: Psychological correlates of deletionism/inclusionism?

Charles Matthews
On 14 April 2013 11:59, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 14 April 2013 11:44, Charles Matthews
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> Indeed. As is characteristic of false dichotomies.
>> I was once asked by a prominent journalist where I stood on this. I
>> replied that it was a boring question. And that once I had defined
>> myself as deletionist on science topics, where we don't want cruft and
>> pseudo, and inclusionist on humanities topics, where we really cannot
>> always know what the academics will turn to next.
>
>
> When people from TV come asking for a (quote) "passionate deletionist" -
>
> http://www.mail-archive.com/wikimediauk-l@.../msg01448.html
>
> - we're well past the time of being able to talk sensibly in such polar terms.

Mmm, I remember that mail and whom I suggested ...

I'm still quite deletionist on BLPs because of examples where our
"rules" are too easy to game. I'm certainly not an anti-stub
deletionist because that I see as destructive of future growth, and I
improve many stubs these days. If "passionate" means "nuance-free",
which is a fair cop much of the time, then I agree with you.

Charles

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