10/2/2022, 12:50 CST
Read Time: 2 min. 31 sec.
Can 1+1=3? Have you experienced a situation with multiple people, yet everyone remembers it differently? Even better, someone looked at you wrong, not realizing they were making a face at the person behind you? As Kramer and Newman unpack the events of June 14th, 1987, Keith Hernandez remembered it differently. As a teacher, you are constantly making decisions based on the information you have. Sometimes, these decisions are small, like what to do when a student breaks a rule. Other times, they are much larger, like whether or not to recommend a student for expulsion. Regardless of the size of the decision, you always want to be sure that you are basing your decisions on accurate information.
The ladder of inference is a cognitive model that helps us understand how we come to the conclusions we make. It starts with the data we take in from our senses (what we see, hear, etc.). From there, we add our own interpretation to the data. We might make assumptions based on our experiences or form judgments about what we think is right or wrong. All of this happens very quickly and often without us even realizing it! Finally, we come to a conclusion and take action based on that conclusion.The ladder comprises six "rungs" and sits on top of observable data and experiences. Starting from the top rung to the bottom rung:
As quirky as Kramer can be, he had a sense of inquiry and asked Hernandez "who did it" since he denied doing it. When doing this, Kramer came down the ladder. At this point, Kramer, Newman, and Hernandez recall the event. Still, while talking, Kramer and Newman quickly realize that Hernandez saw what happened differently. And come to find out, it was Roger McDowell (this is how 1+1=3)!
In the end, Roger was talking and pointing right at Kramer and Newman (I'm guessing telling someone what happened to him during the game, my assumption rung of the ladder!). At the same time, Keith yells at Kramer to get out of the way, but it is too late! And to come down even more on the ladder, Jerry asks Keith, "why?" and then the real answer comes out. Kramer admits how he and Newman were picking on McDowell in the bullpen during the game. Did Kramer deserve what happened? Probably. Did he have the wrong guy? Absolutely. Based on their interpretation of an event, did Kramer and Newman hold onto misdirected anger towards Hernandez for far too long? You bet.
The ladder of inference is a cognitive model that helps us understand how we come to the conclusions we make. It starts with the data we take in from our senses (what we see, hear, etc.). From there, we add our own interpretation to the data... Finally, we come to a conclusion and take action based on that conclusion. As teachers, we must be aware of this process and take steps to ensure that we base our decisions on accurate information. Watch the video below to learn more about the ladder of inference, and here is an article that helps explain this in more detail.