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IB TOK Presentation Transcript

IB TOK Presentation Transcript

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Published by: IB Screwed on Jan 05, 2012
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TOK Presentation Transcript
Full marks awarded.
Names have been changed for privacyThis document is in no way endorsed by the IBO, nor should it be used as such. This workremains the intellectual property of the original authors. While you are free to seekguidance from this work, it should not be replicated in any manner for submission as IBassessment. This would be regarded as plagiarism and lead to cancellation of your diploma.Ever since I first got an email account, I have regularly received chain mail from variousfriends and family members. I have always found these emails to be annoying because theydo nothing more than waste my time and choke up my email inbox. Based on my ownreaction, I never forward these emails to save others the same annoyance.
Like Josephine, I generally find chainmail to be an annoyance. I rarely, if ever, forward achainmail and if I do, I only forward it to a select number of people whom I think will findit humorous so that they may brighten up their day. However, as a whole, I find thatchainmail seems to be written with no intent other than to curse or condemn you if youdare to break the chain.
These emails come in many forms: some contain thoughtful or religious messages; othersrecount sad stories of illness, death or poor living circumstances, whilst others may be aquestionnaire about yourself or another person. Despite these different forms, they all haveone thing in common, which is that they contain an instruction to forward the email toothers. As Veronica mentioned, these instructions generally include threats or promises thatwill come true based on whether you forward the email or not.
My reaction to chainmail is initially a purely logical one, I understand that an email is asingle piece of digital data: it can go to thousands of people and does not in any way
influence a person’s fate
Even if I decide to consider it seriously, I still reason that it’sbetter to break the chain, rather than to “condemn” fifteen other people I kn
To us, it is obvious that there is no value to the claims made in chain emails. However, weknow that there must be others who do take them seriously because we continue to receivethem. To me, it is obvious that if any of these threats or promises came true, it will havenothing to do with whether or not you forwarded an email. However, the sheer number of chain emails I receive indicates to me that some of my own friends and family have beeninfluenced by them to the point that they feel compelled to send them on.
This in turn makes us wonder: what prompts people to send these messages in the firstplace? As we both react in an analytical manner, logically dismissing the claims in theemails to be false, we chose to consider chainmail from a different perspective, whatwould happen if we were to take the claims seriously and react in an emotional mannerinstead?
Once we realised people who send chain mail do so based on their emotions, instead of their reason, this prompted us to question just how much influence our emotions can haveon our decision-making, and whether it can cause us to perform an action that wouldotherwise be considered unreasonable. From this, we identified the knowledge issue:To what extent do emotions overpower our reason in decision-making?
Many of these emails try to provoke action by using promises to evoke hope. I find that Ican understand the feelings of hope that people feel from sending on these emails. Just as
I forward on humorous emails in the “hope” that I might brighten up someone else’s day,
people may see the promises in the emails with the hope that they may also brighten uptheir own fortunes, be it their love-life, wealth or simply luck for the future. Even thoughit is clear to me that emailing a generic message to multiple friends is not going to
influence my future, the “what if” factor still comes into play. I wonder to myself: “what if 
it really did influence my fate, what if I was wrong with my logic, and if I were to choose tosend them on, what would I lose
In the hope of making my life better, this emotionalresponse has affected my decision-making, causing me to do something that I otherwisewould never have considered.
By the same token, fear can have a huge effect on our reasoning. Although to me it seemssimple to ignore the silly threats in these emails, others may allow fear of the possible
consequences to overpower them. As with hope, there is a “what if” factor that prevents
some people from relying on their own reason. I have seen some emails that included
threats to, not only the person’s wellbeing, but also the wellbeing of their friends and
family. I realised that many people do want to risk attaching the fate of others to their ownpoor choices, and see forwarding these emails as the best choice. They may be fully capableof reasoning, but out of fear, they choose to ignore any logical conclusions just in case theyare wrong. To them, they see two possibilities:1.
Forward the email, and if it is false, no one will get seriously hurt2.
Ignore the email, and risk harm to myself or others if it turns out to be true.Driven by fear, these people choose to continue the bothersome trend of sending theseemails around, and totally ignore their own logic.
Some emails are written to appeal to our emotions of sympathy. They use imagesprovocative images of animal cruelty or even a picture of a small child coupled with amessage dictating how they are now in dire need of medical help. They either take theform of a petition or claim that for email sent, money will be donated to resolve the issue.Either way, they both claim that by forwarding the email, you can make a difference andencourage this by evoking our emotions of sympathy. Personally, I realise that theseemails are an inefficient method of accomplishi
ng their “goals”. If they were genuine, they
would redirect people to a site where the signatures might actually be counted, ratherthan simply dispersed into thousands of inboxes.
I have also seen emails used anger. They will recount stories such as how a child was killedby a drunk driver, and instruct readers to pass it on to prevent it from happening again.Others may be about political issues, and say that if you feel angered by the situation, youshould pass on the email to show support. I find these emails pointless because forwardingan email will not change the bad things that happen in the world. Once again, this is anexample of how an overpowering emotional reaction can cause people to do somethingthat is not reasonable.
Given that such a range of emotion responses can still affect this decision, we realised thatthis concept must also apply to other situations. Humans experience a range of emotional

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