can’t say how

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“It’s a little-known fact that the world’s best chicken sexers come almost exclusively
from Japan”

For some reason psychologists and philosophers investigate chicken sexing. Psychologists lured me into reading obscure articles on chicken sexing because, amongst other things, it is a skilled human activity that cannot be articulated. Just one mention in my undergraduate course, carefully juxtapositioned with a reference to how wine tasting is a similarly non-articulatable skill.

Chicken sexing? Chicken sexing! Maybe the idea stayed with me so long and in preference to wine tasting because of the word sex. Maybe its that the act of labelling a chicken with a predicted sex is called ‘sexing’. From one comment in a 1985 class on cognitive psychology, I developed an interest in reading about chicken sexing. So it was, so it is.

“If I went for more than four days without chick sexing work I started to have ‘withdrawal symptoms”


rate wendys scribble

4 bits of lovely banter on “can’t say how”

  1. Miss Scarlet writes:

    I haven’t read the whole article… but how often do the chicken sexers get it wrong?



    wendy writes

    there are no graphs that plot accuracy of judgement against training/practice, just a quote:

    “To be close to 100 per cent accurate at 800 to 1200 chickens per hour for a long day, intuition comes in to play in many of your decisions, even if you are not consciously aware of it.”

    Can you imagine looking at the private parts of 1200 chicks per hour?!



  2. Brian writes:

    The article was quite interesting. Chicken sexing as compared to playing chess or making a medical diagnosis! As I read it, it occurred to me how amazing it was to be able recognize words at such a rapid pace. It reminds me too of the way we more easily recognize people more similar to us (hence the supposedly racist comments that “all so-and-so people look the same”) and our ability to learn new types of rapid recognition (such as reading music).



  3. Nicky writes:

    cute baby chickies, OH!



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