Pat Ferrucci

Pat Ferrucci Survivor 31 recapsPat Ferrucci started watching Survivor when episode two of Borneo first aired. He's seen every episode since. Besides recapping here, he'll be live-tweeting this season from the Mountain Time Zone. Why? Because nobody cares about the Mountain Time Zone except when they want to ski.

 

His column, "Well, in theory..." has run here at the True Dork Times since 2014, when he first wrote about season 31, Survivor: Cambodia - Second Chance.

 

Follow him on twitter: @PatFerrucci


  • S35 logo Survivor 35: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers (click to expand/collapse)
    Chrissy and Ryan get lost in their own story

    Episode 11: Chrissy and Ryan get lost in their own story

    Published: December 4, 2017

     

    Pat uses narrative transportation theory to explain Chrissy and Ryan's mistaken comfort in the alliance of seven, leading to its epic blindside and Lauren's new alliance's game-changing power shift in Episodes 10-11 of Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers.


    Episode 9: Ben needs a lesson in mass communication theory... badly

    Published: November 24, 2017

     

    Pat explains agenda-setting theory, the art of framing what to think about, but not how to think, and contrasts Chrissy and Ben's patterns of persuasion in Episode 9 of Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers.


    Episode 7: Who holds the golden fleece after the merge?

    Published: November 10, 2017

     

    Pat explores the black sheep effect, and argues that by ignoring it, the majority alliance made the wrong move at the merge of Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers.


    Episode 6: Who holds the power at the merge?

    Published: November 5, 2017

     

    Pat takes a one-week sabbatical from the theory in order to assess the events of Episode 6, and how they affect the remaining contestants' chances of winning Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers.


    Episode 5: The ego and its utility, a tale of conflicting ethics

    Published: October 27, 2017

     

    Pat examines Ryan's swing vote decision, and most Survivor gameplay, through the conflicting ethical theories of ethical egoism and utilitarianism, and how the best plays appear to be the latter while actually adhering to the former.


    Episode 4: It's all about cohesion, the cohesion of the group

    Published: October 20, 2017

     

    Pat evaluates the tribal swap through the lens of group cohesion theory, and finds the new Levu tribe lacking, as seen in Episode 4 of Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers.


    Episode 3: His name was Patrick. Now it's Matthew

    Published: October 14, 2017

     

    Pat refutes Malcolm Gladwell's outlier hypothesis, instead arguing that Robert Merton's theory of cumulative advantage applies better to Survivor, as seen in Patrick's exit from Episode 3 of Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers.


    Episode 2: You're a hustler. A hustler. You are. Yes you.

    Published: October 6, 2017

     

    Pat looks at identity priming theory, and how this affects Survivor players' early tribal boot decisions, as seen in Episode 2 of Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers.


    Episode 1: Let's talk some in-group and some out-group

    Published: October 2, 2017

     

    Pat focuses on a relevant facet of social identity theory, in-group/ out-group bias, to help explain why Katrina was the first person voted out in Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers. Then he looks at the tribes in greater depth.


    Pre-season: Who am I going to curse this season?

    Published: September 23, 2017

     

    Pat Ferrucci examines the cast of Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers, and makes his semi-annual game-cursing winner's pick, then ranks the remaining contestants' chances.


    Pre-season: TDT Survivor: HHH contestant draft

    Published: September 22, 2017

     

    Ben Martell, Dan Otsuki, Pat Ferrucci, and Jeff Pitman come together to rank and draft fantasy teams of the contestants from Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers. Who will reign supreme?

  • S34 logo Survivor 34: Game Changers (click to expand/collapse)
    Jury jeopardy S34

    Pre-Ep.14: Jury jeopardy S34

    Published: May 23, 2017

     

    The True Dork Times writers (Ben, Dan, Pat, Jeff) combine their prognosticatory powers to predict the outcome of the Game Changers jury vote. And beat RHAP, Inside Survivor, and Reality Blurred, of course.


    Ep.13: Where do we stand? (A look at the Final 6)

    Published: May 22, 2017

     

    Pat dispenses with the theory, looks back at this week's two boots, then takes a final look ahead, ranking the remaining six Game Changers by order of likelihood to win.


    Ep.12: Do it and do it swiftly

    Published: May 13, 2017

     

    Pat examines Swift Trust Theory, and whether the short-term trust established by sharing a secret Advantage is enough to build a bond in Survivor. The answer? Not in Sierra's case, apparently.


    Ep.11: Don't rock the boat - we like it stable

    Published: May 7, 2017

     

    Pat applies the concept of social stability to explain the (non-Andrea) majority alliance members' willingness to go along with booting Zeke, and other observations from Episode 11 of Game Changers.


    Ep.10: Sarah revolts against dominance

    Published: May 1, 2017

     

    Pat describes how social dominance theory (SDT) applies to Survivor, specifically Sarah's perception that she was at the bottom of the six-person alliance's hierarchy, and how it induced her move to change the game.


    Eps.8-9: Booting Hali the rational choice

    Published: April 24, 2017

     

    To examine this week's two boots, Pat employs rational choice theory, arguing that Hali was the rational choice for the first post-merge boot, not because she was a threat, but because she wasn't.


    Ep.7: With the merge comes power rankings

    Published: April 17, 2017

     

    Pat eschews theory this week, in favor of examining the impact of Zeke's outing (and Varner's ouster) in Ep.7 of Game Changers, and looking ahead at the contestants' relative winning chances, heading into the merge.


    Ep.6: The drive to boot Sandra

    Published: April 9, 2017

     

    Pat dips into Drive Theory, and argues that in order to please the audience, returnees are driven to target former winners, as seen in Sandra's ouster in Episode 6 ("Vote Early, Vote Often") of Survivor: Game Changers.


    Ep.5: To compare or not to compare

    Published: April 3, 2017

     

    Pat compares JT's seasons, then delves into Social Comparison theory, in order to explain JT's curious conclusion that he was in a better position than Michaela in Episode 5 ('Dirty Deed') of Survivor: Game Changers.


    Ep.4: Producers innovate, but it's unfortunately disruptive

    Published: March 28, 2017

     

    Pat applies the theory of disruptive innovation to the Tribal Council twist (and gift idol) in Episode 4 ('The Tables Have Turned') of Survivor: Game Changers, and wonders what industry will be toppled, besides Malcolm's.


    Ep.3: Organize differently and boom, different culture

    Published: March 17, 2017

     

    Pat looks in depth at organization theory, and how social norms affect Survivor performance after a tribe swap, as in Episode 3 ("Survivor Jackpot") of Survivor: Game Changers.


    Eps.1-2: This cast is sure primed for fun

    Published: March 10, 2017

     

    Pat looks again at priming theory, and how the host's repetition of the theme is designed to inspire and drive the gameplay on Survivor, this time with Game Changers.


    Cast: And the winner? I don't know?

    Published: March 2, 2017

     

    Pat tries (again) to pick a winner, after sorting the Game Changers contestants into groups of people whose winning chances are: Likely, Possible, Unlikely, and Impossible.

  • S33 logo Survivor 33: Millennials vs. Gen X (click to expand/collapse)
    Pre-Ep.14: Jury jeopardy

    Pre-Episode 14: Jury jeopardy

    Published: December 12, 2016

     

    Jeff Pitman, Andy Baker, and Pat Ferrucci join the Survivor Blogoverse prediction game, facing off against their compatriots at Inside Survivor, Reality Blurred, and the RHAP blogs in trying to forecast the jury votes of Millennials vs. Gen X.


    Episode 13: Who holds the most finale power?

    Published: December 11, 2016

     

    As the finale approaches, Pat Ferrucci makes a final assessment of the season as a whole (entertaining!) and the remaining six's chances of winning Millennials vs. Gen X.


    Episode 12: Will seeks his trophy, Zeke hits the road

    Published: December 4, 2016

     

    Pat Ferrucci takes a look into trophy culture, and how the self-esteem movement may have affected Will's quest for (recognition of) a Big Move™ in Episode 12 of Millennials vs. Gen X.


    Episodes 10 & 11: Jessica's dismissal just part of the agensa

    Published: November 26, 2016

     

    Pat Ferrucci looks at agenda-setting theory, and how the Survivors' focus on the David-vs.-Zeke clash prevented them from steering away from the rock-drawing abyss in Episodes 10 & 11 of Millennials vs. Gen X.


    Episode 8: How the castaways stack up post-merge

    Published: November 13, 2016

     

    Pat Ferrucci takes a one-week break from the theory to predict which of the remaining dozen castaways now possess the greatest chances to win Millennials vs. Gen X.


    Episode 7: Michaela gets dysfunctional, gets dys-boot

    Published: November 5, 2016

     

    Pat Ferrucci looks at the functional theory of leadership, and argues that Michaela's boot stemmed from her failing to provide the style of leadership Jay and Will wanted, in Episode 7 of Millennials vs. Gen X.


    Episode 6: Figgy sees selectively, gets the boot

    Published: October 31, 2016

     

    Pat Ferrucci says seletive exposure theory explains how Figgy chose to see only the good aspects of her game, ignoring the glaring downsides, which led to her boot in Episode 6 of Millennials vs. Gen X.


    Episode 5: David continues forcing others to innovate

    Published: October 24, 2016

     

    Pat Ferrucci argues that David's moves have been successful because his disruptive innovation has shaken up the stolid Gen X tribe, putting them off their games, and may continue working going forward.


    Episode 4: Dissonance dismisses silence

    Published: October 18, 2016

     

    Pat Ferrucci ponders cognitive dissonance, and posits that it explains Jessica's inability to trust Ken's otherwise credible information that Lucy was targeting her, leading to David's idol play.


    Episode 3: Paul's poorly framed response sinks him

    Published: October 7, 2016

     

    Pat Ferrucci looks at framing theory, with respect to the manner in which Paul presented his alliance's future plans to Jessica, and how it failed.


    Episode 2: Michelle guides the organism

    Published: October 3, 2016

     

    Pat returns to the metaphor of the organization as organism, and looks at how Michelle expertly and subtly guided the group of Millennials.


    Episode 1: All about the power of the prime

    Published: September 23, 2016

     

    Pat Ferrucci looks at Priming Theory, such as the outsized role that Probst and production, in emphasizing the season theme, influence the contestants' behavior. And then revisits his rankings.


    Pre-season: And the winner? I don't know?

    Published: September 17, 2016

     

    Pat ranks the new Millennials vs. Gen X contestants into four categories: "Frontrunners"; "Eh, Maybe"; "I'm Thinking No" and the ill-fated "No Chance in Hell." And then he eventually picks out a potential winner.

  • S32 logo Survivor 32: Kaoh Rong (click to expand/collapse)
    So this is how it ends...

    Ep.14: So this is how it ends...

    Published: May 22, 2016

     

    Pat Ferrucci looks back, again with confirmation bias, at the disappointing season finale of Survivor: Kaoh Rong.


    Pre-Ep.14: Jury Jeopardy

    Published: May 16, 2016

     

    Jeff Pitman and Pat Ferrucci team up in an attempt to predict the likely votes of the Survivor: Kaoh Rong jury members.


    Ep.13: A winner's edit? How each remaining castaway can take home the money

    Published: May 14, 2016

     

    Pat looks at the four remaining players, tries to dispense with confirmation bias, and maps out their best path to the million-dollar prize of Survivor: Kaoh Rong.


    Ep.12: Tai's a metaphor for a bad player

    Published: May 7, 2016

     

    To look at the curious fractures in the final five's alliance in Episode 12 of Kaoh Rong, Pat turns to organization as organisms theory, and finds that Tai's attempted move upset the organism.


    Ep.11: Michele follows along to someone else's agenda

    Published: May 1, 2016

     

    Pat looks again to agenda-setting theory, and finds a disparity between Michele's talk about her own game and the coveted Big Moves™ that juries allegedly reward, at least through Episode 11 of Kaoh Rong.


    Ep.10: Tai doesn't let ethics tie him down

    Published: April 22, 2016

     

    Pat Ferrucci tries to find an ethical theory that supports Tai's highly conflicted decision in Episode 10 of Kaoh Rong, and comes up with consequentialism.


    Ep.9: Lack of regulation dooms Debbie

    Published: April 15, 2016

     

    Pat sees Debbie's downfall as a lack of self-regulation on Cydney and Aubry's part, and proposes an alternative path that might have saved Debbie, on Episode 9 of Kaoh Rong.


    Ep.8: A story Nick didn't quite understand

    Published: April 10, 2016

     

    Pat looks at narrative transportation theory, to explain the disconnect between Nick's self-aggrandizing perception of his own gameplay and the playing that actually happened on Episode 8 of Kaoh Rong.


    Ep.7: Emerging power

    Published: April 1, 2016

     

    As the Kaoh Rong merge arrives then leaves without a Tribal Council, Pat takes a spring break from theories, and assesses the relative power ranks of the remaining players.


    Ep.6: Ironically, Peter is not so attractive?

    Published: March 25, 2016

     

    Using the reward theory of attraction, Pat finds that Peter's self-described attractiveness provided few rewards for Aubry, contributing to her decision to vote him out of Kaoh Rong this week.


    Ep.5: An exchange Anna hopes to forget

    Published: March 18, 2016

     

    Pat uses social exchange theory as a means to explain the poor returns Anna received from her post-swap attempts to make Tai appear an idol threat to her new tribemates in Ep.5 of Kaoh Rong.


    Ep.4: Brawn depletes its ability to keep Alecia around

    Published: March 11, 2016

     

    Pat wonders if ego depletion theory explains Brawn's inability to win challenges through Ep.4 of Kaoh Rong, and how things might have played out differently if they'd booted Alecia in the first episode.


    Ep.3: How self-perception took down the Brains

    Published: March 4, 2016

     

    Pat finds that Liz and Peter's self-perception of being super-smart doomed their interactions with their fellow Brains and Liz's chances in Ep.3 of Kaoh Rong.


    Ep.2: Jenny shows everyone how not to play Survivor

    Published: February 26, 2016

     

    Pat sees cognitive dissonance as a possible reason for Jennifer's tumultuous Tribal Council performance on the second episode of Kaoh Rong.


    Ep.1: Producers prime those identities right away

    Published: February 19, 2016

     

    Pat uses Social Identity Theory (SIT) and priming theory to explain why the contestants so quickly embraced their assigned tribal identities in the Kaoh Rong premiere.


    Pre-season: Trying to predict a season based on, um... nothing

    Published: February 11, 2016

     

    "Meet the Cast" along with Pat, as he watches the newbie players' introductory video, reads their bios, then tries to evaluate how they'll far during the Kaoh Rong season.

  • S31 logo Survivor 31: Cambodia - Second Chance (click to expand/collapse)
    Wrapping up a stellar season

    Episode 14: Wrapping up a stellar season

    Published: December 18, 2015

     

    ...figuratively and literally, of Survivor. After praising the finale, Pat looks back at his Survivor: Cambodia pre-season predictions, to see how they planned out.


    Episode 13: Planning behavior before the finale

    Published: December 11, 2015

     

    Theory of planned behavior, which is Pat's best fit for explaining why Jeremy, Tasha, Kimmi, and Spencer booted Abi, rather than dragging her to the finals of Survivor: Cambodia.


    Episode 12: Spiraling toward what could be an amazing end

    Published: December 6, 2015

     

    Spiral of silence theory, and how it explains why nobody seems to pointing out the obvious: that Joe can probably never win Survivor.


    Episode 11: Construction junction, how do you function?

    Published: November 29, 2015

     

    A double dose of Thanksgiving Survivor leads Pat to ponder social constructionism and the rise of the voting bloc in Second Chance.


    Episode 9: Did Stephen just open or close the gate to winning?

    Published: November 20, 2015

     

    Pat applies gatekeeping theory to Stephen's Big Move™ and examines the various influences that drove him to act during Episode 9 of Cambodia - Second Chance.


    Episode 8: Second Chance primed for an incredible end game

    Published: November 13, 2015

     

    Pat talks about priming theory, and how Jeff Probst has primed both players and audience to interpret Big Moves™ as winning strategy, even when the actual evidence of that is at best lacking.


    Episode 7: Framing how it all went down

    Published: November 6, 2015

     

    Pat looks at framing theory, particularly how Kass, Ciera, Savage, and Tasha framed their stories to achieve their desired results in the Cambodia merge episode.


    Episode 6: Follow the leader... or not

    Published: October 30, 2015

     

    Pat looks at Edgar Schein's theory of organizational culture, particularly as it applies to Andrew Savage's leading (or not) of the new Ta Keo tribe.


    Episode 5: Let's get ethical

    Published: October 23, 2015

     

    Pat examines how differing ethical viewpoints and theories (such as utilitarianism in Kimmi's case, or ethical egoism in Monica's) can work for or against a player in the context of Survivor.


    Episode 4: Abi continues cultivating an irrational gameplan

    Published: October 16, 2015

     

    Pat uses cultivation theory in an attempt to explain the origins of Abi-Maria's Survivor worldview (watching Survivor makes her think everyone's out to get her).


    Episode 3: Tasha sets the Tribal agenda

    Published: October 9, 2015

     

    Pat explains how Tasha's attempt to label Varner a rat (thereby shifting the target away from Savage and herself) serves as an example of agenda-setting theory.


    Episode 2: Lesson Learned: Varner Teaches the Old School

    Published: October 2, 2015

     

    Pat sees evidence of social learning theory in Episode 2's strategic moves by Terry (also Spencer), and hangs the teacher tag squarely on Jeff Varner.


    Episode 1: Vytas, SIT down

    Published: September 25, 2015

     

    Pat applies Social Identity Theory to Episode 1 of Second Chance, and finds it fits the Ta Keo tribe's divisions (and Varner's questioning where he falls within those divisions) quite neatly.


    Pre-season: Survivor: Cambodia preview

    Published: September 15, 2015

     

    Pat takes a contestant-by-contestant look at the cast of Survivor: Cambodia - Second Chance, and their prospects for winning.

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