A sure hand

A per­son owns a rid­ing sta­ble with sev­eral ponies. One spir­ited pony has been off work for sev­eral weeks and the owner wants to use him in a be­gin­ner’s les­son. They ask one of their more ex­pe­ri­enced rid­ers to “tune him up” be­fore the les­son.

EQUUS - - Eq Casereport -

This is an­other sce­nario with a me­dian rank of 2 and to­tal re­sponses rang­ing from 0 to 5. DuBois says the va­ri­ety in these re­sponses may be due to the in­di­vid­ual ex­pert’s in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the de­scrip­tion, as well as their own per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ences in sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tions.

DuBois says that a per­son’s own ex­pe­ri­ences have a huge in­flu­ence on how they view wel­fare is­sues. “The am­bi­gu­ity of the word­ing is likely the rea­son for the wide range of re­sponses,” she says. “To some, ‘tun­ing up’ might mean briefly longe­ing the pony be­fore the les­son. To oth­ers, it may have a more neg­a­tive con­no­ta­tion and there­fore the sit­u­a­tion war­rants a higher rank­ing. Per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence, es­pe­cially with re­spect to rough han­dling, ar­guably played an im­por­tant role in how ex­perts per­ceived this sit­u­a­tion.”

You can’t dis­count a per­son’s ex­pe­ri­ences, or your own for that mat­ter, but it’s im­por­tant to un­der­stand how they may in­flu­ence per­cep­tions---ei­ther pos­i­tively or neg­a­tively---when you’re hav­ing wel­fare dis­cus­sions.

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