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May 12, 2007 12:03 AM

Broken: Time 100 poll

Brokentime100Michael Woolman writes:

The Time 100 poll shows various people, and instructs the user to "rate their influence on a scale from 1 to 100."

If I want a candidate to place well, do I rate them as "1," to say "this is the number one person?"
or do I rate them as "100," and assume the people ranked with the highest scores rank highest on the list?

Since there are no further instructions on the page, I wonder how many people have voted in the opposite way from what they intended.


If you click "Show All Candidates," you will be taken to a page showing the current rankings and the ratings they were given. From this it becomes clear that the person rated with the highest numbers places the best.

What is intuitively broken about this is that it is called the Time 100 but there are 204 candidates.

Posted by: Alcas at May 12, 2007 08:46 AM

On a scale of 1 to 100, I'd give this a 13.

Posted by: tartan at May 12, 2007 10:25 AM

Alcas, I would assume that they pick the 100 top-rated people.

Posted by: Fuzzy at May 12, 2007 11:05 AM

The people who voted are broken. Apperently, Sanjaya Malakar and a Korean pop-star I've never heard of shape my world more than Bill Gates, Al Gore, and our current president!

Posted by: Narcissus at May 12, 2007 07:07 PM

What's broken about it is that

you should never be asked to rate anything on a scale of 1 to 100. How could you decide if Sanjaya Malakar is a 18 or 19? Your answer will be based more on slight personal preferences for how the number sounds in relation to other numbers than it will be based on your actual opinion. Time would have enough information to make their top 100 list if they simply asked people to rate people 1-3, for not influential, kindof influential, or very influential. Your placement will be determined by how many people picked you, not by what exact number someone picked.

In this case, because they've chosen to rate people on a scale the same size as the number of winners they're going to print in a "countdown" format, it's even more confusing.

Posted by: Sadie at May 13, 2007 12:15 PM

It is obvious many (most) voters took their own opinion of the person they voted for into account when they voted.

In fact, when many people see "rate" and "bill gates", "george bush", or "al gore" in the same sentence, they will automatically choose the lowest possible rating because they don't support that person's ideas.

Posted by: TIBE4ME at May 14, 2007 10:12 PM

Well said, Narcissus

Posted by: Zephyr at May 15, 2007 12:06 PM

At last -- a reasonable explanation for the results of previous Time 100 polls.

Posted by: henrybowmanaz at May 15, 2007 06:50 PM

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