Sunday, 19 January 2014


Psychoacoustics is the scientific study of sound perception. In the science of psychoacoustics there are principles when dealing with sounds, for example, whenever two identical sounds hit the ear from two different directions, a human will hear it as a single sound coming from the first direction.

If you consider the sounds that emanate from the mouths of Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness, both vying for the higher ground in a game of one up-manship. My orange card trumps your green card and so on and so forth. Each 'leader' is playing to their own crowd, more interested in not losing ground with the home crowd than actually doing the right thing.

It could be argued that doing the right thing depends on which team you are on, the orange or the green and ultimately who in this game of brinkmanship is prepared to push the envelope the furthest.

An essential point to consider is that whilst the 2011 election saw an increase in registered voters the overall turn out was down with only 54.5% of those able to vote turning out. This leaves 45.5% of the electorate who didn't vote. If for the purpose of demonstration we said that both Sinn Fein and the DUP got 25% of the vote each and the remaining parties had the 4.5% balance divided among them, it would mean that the 44.5% eligible voters who abstained in 2011 heavily outweigh the votes given to any of the political parties. Not a resounding endorsement of our wee democracy.
The Robinson, McGuinness effect

So apart from their home 'crowds' who do the parties in Stormont represent?

Oh and before I forget, that psychoacoustic principle I mentioned at the start of this piece it is called the 'haas effect'.

And before you ask, it has no connection a certain American diplomat, although it may be an indicator of what Richard Haass suffered during his time here.

1 comment:

  1. Psychoacoustics and Psychobabble - Big Paisley nailed Robinsons colours to the mast last night. McGuinness yellow drawers have been flying up the MI5 flagpole for a long while.