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Critical Thinking: Allies

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Greetings everyone,

I already made one of these for one half of a given game, so let's examine our allies! Once again, this is an exercise in putting yourself in other people's heads and seeing things from their point of view. Just as nobody likes their enemies, it's hard sometimes to find any love for the other guys on your team. They do dumb things sometimes: they troll, or feed, or rage, or fail to ward/mia/ping/farm/gank/push/group/focus/etc. And they afk. Let's not forget that they do that too. 

Examine this common occurence: an ally of yours gets ganked by the enemy jungler and is killed. It's easy for you to condemn him, right? The guy's a loser to have fed so early; he probably does that all the time. He should've warded the bush, or stayed further back in the lane, or dodged a crucial skill shot. Then let's say the same jungler comes after you a minute later. He kills you easily (despite your highly skilled and strategic attempts to evade him), probably because your noob ally fed him a kill! Right?

Perhaps, but perhaps not. Try to see through the ally's vision. Maybe he's behind in farm and concentrating hard to last-hit effectively, to the point where he fails to notice an opposing jungler approaching through a carefully warded area. The opposing laner threatens to close with him, so he backs off- right into that skill shot. This paints a picture of a smarter, more aware player than a first glance does. Now let's look at the second kill: did the enemy jungler really need that gold/exp bonus to kill you? Maybe you were overpushed, or didn't have a ward yourself. Or, maybe you were too busy watching your ally's lane and trying to get inside his head...

But I digress. The point is, there's a phenomenon in psychology called actor/observer bias. This occurs when we watch another person doing something; we think it's easier than it actually is. Then, the same activity is "harder than it looks" when we do it ourselves. To avoid this fallacy, we must try to imagine that the person we're watching is doing something more difficult than it appears. Dodging a skill shot, for example, might seem easy until you try to dodge the darn thing yourself- there's not a soul among us who hasn't been caught by a Javelin Toss.png Javelin Toss, despite the apparent ease of dodging one.

There's another psychological principle at work here. It's called the fundamental attribution error. When we do something, we judge our performance based on the situation, or the circumstances. For example: "considering that there were four people attacking me, I did pretty well in killing two of them and defending my tower". However, we do something different when we look at others. We attribute their actions to disposition, believing that they always behave the way we observe them to. A guy who feeds first blood generally isn't a loser who can't play the game. He's usually an average player who made a mistake or lagged out or just got distracted. Similarly, afks aren't always ragequits. Computer issues exist, yes, but so do emergencies, rings at the doorbell, sudden needs to go to the bathroom, etc.

This is something we HAVE to consider before hitting CAPS LOCK and breathing fire at our allies.

Hope you liked these two Critical Thinking posts, and have a good day.

Tl;Dr ^^^^ (psst....it's up there......you can read it...It doesn't take that long......you can do it.....I believe in you....) 

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