Practice Pointer: What Do Feet Have for Breakfast?
Recently, Siouxsie’s pal Tom Bartlett wrote about researchers measuring children’s response to nonsensical questions.
For instance, “Is red heavier than yellow?” and “Is a jumper angrier than a tree?” The purpose of this line of inquiry was to determine whether children would object to the stupid questions or simply answer them.
The psychologists conducting these studies discovered that children would answer these ridiculous questions directly and completely. Mr. Bartlett makes the point that adults frequently answer these kind of questions in surveys and polls. Like, “How is the economy doing?” and “Has the first two years of Obama’s presidency had been a success or a failure?”
There seems to be some basic human instinct to want to answer any question. No matter how silly. This point may be obvious and self-evident, but it seems worth considering when preparing questions for witnesses or deponents. Or when preparing your witness for depositions. Humans like to answer questions, even when they shouldn’t.