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  • Melissa Orquiza

Mocha Pops & Ice Cream Fruit Pops, Imperfection (Pratfall effect), Kate Nash & Mozart

Imperfect Mocha Pops and Ice Cream Fruit Pops. Because life isn't perfect and it shouldn't be!

Imperfect Ice Cream Pops slide show. Enjoy!

Mocha Pops & Ice Cream Fruit Pops, Imperfection (Pratfall effect), Kate Nash & Mozart

Originally Published September 20, 2023

My daughter is learning music. As the daughter of two professional musicians, we wanted to give her the gift, the love of music, but did not quite anticipate how difficult it could be. My husband is used to musical efficiency and inspiration, but when it comes wrapped in a form of a little girl dressed in sequins, singing “My Little Pony” songs, yelling, “No” and refusing to take his musical direction, he usually retreats to his studio and tells me he has to work when practice time rolls around.

Sometimes, practicing with her is a breeze. (Three songs and a scale)! Other times, it’s a practice in parental and musical frustration, akin to poking a stick into my eye repeatedly. (“No. You may not only play harmonics and flying pizz’s all the time. Please, try not to step on your bow. Please stop, tuning. Yes, you may play Super Mario after we’re finished.”) It’s one of the most hilarious, difficult, trying, and simultaneously rewarding times of the day, times two. (She’s learning piano and cello. Her “serious” instruments.)

As a professional musician, it’s in our DNA to mess up spectacularly and get up multiple times a day. (How else do you learn create a difficult passage?) I don’t know many successful creatives that haven’t embraced failure or the idea of imperfection as an ethos. The primary reason why our daughter is learning music is because of the discipline involved. If she can learn to create something beautiful after persistent effort, look ahead at how to master something efficiently, to see where pitfalls may lay and work to reenforce them, I know that she will be a successful adult, long after my husband and I are gone. That discipline, that self esteem, that “can do” attitude isn’t something you learn from a platitude, a podcast, or attendance a few hours each week. It’s at your disposal after years of grit.

As a person fond of the duality and inevitability of imperfection, I found a few interesting notions that could be applied on the prosocial and economic fronts. As the world around us continues to fight over the accountability of screwups and failures on a massive scale, why is it that we give grace to some people and chastise others? Why is it in a social group, some people will act charitably to some and condescending to others? I came across the notion of the Pratfall effect, that essentially claims, that a person’s appeal after making a mistake is inextricably linked into their perceived competence. Basically, if you think someone is exceptional or “special” and they spill coffee on their shirt, it makes them more human. If it’s a “average” peer, the person is less likable even if they commit the same mistake. If the person judging the infraction has low self esteem, the faux pas is judged even more severely. Wow. Humans suck.

The Pratfall Effect

In the midst of the unprecedented labor strikes across the economy, “How do you promote prosocial behavior in an unequal world?” Based on this study, the Pratfall effect became a bit of a hindrance even when models of compassion meditation training and altering inequity between the two groups, still did not have a clear effect on collaboration. Only when both groups felt they could benefit, would they cooperate with each other. (Hmmm. Like kids.) Clear lines of gross inequity repudiated cooperation and leaders may be particularly influential when there are no established group norms and looking to others in how to behave. I find it interesting that now matter which side you’re on, this embodies the conundrum within our current labor movement.

Promoting Prosocial Behavior in an Unequal World

Ok. So, we’ve skimmed the surface on how imperfection and the Pratfall effect may influence prosocial behavior. Since prosocial behavior and psychology usually mean that emotions run the train, what happens when you try to quantify perfect versus imperfect competition in economics? Within the upheaval of the current labor movement, so many of the issues that are being brought up were created by government policies that either addressed “inequity” or were overlooked in favor of big business. Check out how the Pratfall effect and the idea of perfect and imperfect competitiveness comes into play in economics and the regulatory underpinnings to gird against monopolistic competition. (It seems routinely, certain countries are proactively incentivized to act on behalf of their companies as opposed to others and regulatory incentives to achieve productivity margins). I find this interesting especially since in entertainment, there could have been tax incentives in place decades ago to keep work in the United States and in California, yet were overlooked. Financially speaking, it’s interesting that in the spirit of competition, legacy companies versus tech companies in the age of entertainment, accidentally shot themselves in the foot with short sightedness due to the “imperfect” competitive markets brought about by the pandemic and mandatory government policies. Certain prosocial government policies in LA accidentally did the same thing in favor of addressing equity and redistribution of wealth. Both have resulted in an inability to work cooperatively to readdress the issue of fair compensation, resulting in the labor strikes engulfing us today.

Imperfect Competition

Finally, can the Pratfall effect be used to readdress marketability? In other words, can screwing up be used to your advantage? Check out how imperfection actually helped Volkswagen and KFC UK.

Power Imperfection- Exploring the Pratfall Effect

I hope this made you laugh, think, and hopefully look at the world in a different way. Thanks for reading! Have a great week! Melissa

Here’s some Kate Nash and the Mozart Variations of “Twinkle Twinkle” on piano. Enjoy!

Imperfect Mocha Pops and Ice Cream Fruit Pops

Mocha Pops

Here is the basic recipe I used for the Mocha and Ice Cream Fruit Pops. For the Mocha pops, we added chocolate chips and toffee chips. For the fruit pops, we used vanilla ice cream and assorted berries and mango. We used popsicle molds and it was kind of a disaster (hence the imperfection). Whether you use paper cups of the popsicle molds, have fun. Enjoy!


1 pint (2 cups) coffee ice cream

1/2 cup chocolate wafer cookies (about 8 cookies), coarsely chopped

1 pint (2 cups) chocolate ice cream


* Put a large scoop of coffee ice cream in a paper cup and use a spoon to press the ice cream into the bottom and sides of the cup. Put a heaping tablespoon of the chocolate wafer cookies on top and gently press into the coffee ice cream layer. Finish with a large scoop of chocolate ice cream, pressing into the cup. Repeat with the remaining cups, ice cream, and chocolate wafer cookies. Push a wooden pop stick about a quarter of the way into the center of each pop and cover each with plastic wrap. Freeze the pops until the ice cream hardens, at least 4 hours and up to overnight. When ready to serve, gently peel off the paper cup and serve frozen.

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