In a psychiatrist’s waiting room two patients are having a conversation. One says to the other, “Why are you here?”
I thought I start with a joke about confusion. I want to focus on this subject. What causes confusion for a person? Are people usually confused or some situations are confusing?
The first thing I think about is when someone has a picture on his mind that wants to present it to me. But because of lack of information from me the receiver or different initial image that I have already there it causes me not to understand.
Now there are causes to confusion. Sometimes the receiver is the problem, sometimes the sender, sometimes no one. When for example two people talk about two different things but think they have a conversation.
Confusion on a software project is often in the beginning. But confusion is really annoying when you have too many tasks to complete and too many rules to obey, but very little occasions to express you own opinions. After the task is completed but not satisfactory, you are held responsible for not doing the job properly.
I found http://adcontrarian.blogspot.com/2010/05/why-creatives-are-always-confused.html on Internet and want to comment a little bit on the problems raised. It is focused on a specific category but I think it could be generalized to many situations.
“They are pressured by their leaders to do “great” work. But when they do, they usually get reprimanded for not being “on strategy.”” This is one of the examples of bad leadership that can create confusion.
“They are encouraged to win awards. But when they do, they are dismissed as childish narcissists.” Usually an award is a good motivation to someone hired but when to receive the award is some sort of frustration. Looking for too much glory is never healthy to begin with.
“They are highly paid, but rarely listened to.” Here I don´t know. People in IT are paid maybe a little over the average but a lot must be taken into consideration.
Confusion could mean limitation when someone is not able to think outside the box but tries to find the solution.
Confusion could be also a psychological or a technical problem. I googled it and found http://psychology.wikia.com/wiki/Mental_confusion. And here is the medical definition let’s say: “Mental Confusion or Decreased Alertness is the inability to think clearly and quickly; put simply, feeling things just are not right. When confused, one has difficulty paying attention and may feel dizzy. Confusion interferes with ones ability to make decisions clearly and correctly. Many health problems cause confusion or decreased alertness. It is not unusual for a person who is sick to be sleepy or confused upon awakening. However, extreme sleepiness may be a symptom of a more serious health problem. Decreased alertness may occur when a person is not fully awake, aware of, or able to respond normally to his or her external environment. Decreased alertness may also indicate that a chronic illness has gotten worse.”
“Doubt, frustration, Thought disturbances , Wondering behaviour ” is the links for “See also”. This is very interesting because the confusion seem to have, in psychology, connection with those.
Why this article about confusion?
Because testers often encounter this and need to overcome it constantly to improve themselves.