Thursday, December 29, 2011

Perceiving Patterns

I've learned in my psychology and statistics classes that we often perceive patterns in every day life, when there are just coincidental occurrences that lead us to see patterns where there are none. Well, with that skepticism in mind, I have observed a pattern in my own life that I don't think is total bogus, no matter what the statisticians say.

I'm almost positive that 90% of my phone calls are exactly 54 seconds. I'm not joking. They always follow the same pattern:
  • Greeting 
    • Elapsed time: 6 seconds
  • Brief small talk: "How are you doing?" or "Sorry, did I wake you up?" 
    • Elapsed time: 8 seconds
  • Then gets down to the reason for the call: "Wanna come over?" or "Did you already get that done?"
    • Elapsed time: 20 seconds
  • Response and solution: "Yeah I'll let you know when I figure it out."
    • Elapsed time: 10 seconds
  • Wrap up: "Okay then, I'll see you tomorrow"
    • Elapsed time: 6 seconds
  • "K-bye"
    • Elapsed time: 4 seconds
54 seconds exactly. It's like an accidental science. (Although, the elapsed time of each portion is just an estimate based on my own personal reflection. I'm not creepily timing you when you talk to me on the phone).

I don't know if you're like me, but you might notice you follow this formula also.
[Insert The Twilight Zone theme song here]

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