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However a great deal of the interes t in the plots of

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Unformatted text preview: alized conflict. However, a great deal of the interes t in the plots of thes e s tories is s us tained by withholding the unraveling of a s olution to a problem . The effort of s olving the problem is in its elf not a conflict if the advers ary (the unknown crim inal) rem ains pas s ive, like Nature, whos e s ecrets the s cientis t s uppos edly unravels by deduction. If the advers ary actively puts obs tacles in the detective's path toward the s olution, there is genuine conflict. But the conflict is ps ychologically interes ting only to the extent that it contains irrational com ponents s uch as a tactical error on the crim inal's part or the detective's ins ight into s om e ps ychological quirk of the crim inal or s om ething of this s ort. Conflict conducted in a perfectly rational m anner is ps ychologically no m ore interes ting than a s tandard Wes tern. For exam ple, Tic-tac-toe, played perfectly by both players , is com pletely devoid of ps ychological interes t. Ches s m ay be ps ychologically interes ting but only to the extent that it is played not q...
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