Years earlier, we observed a parallel mistake in a different context. Our home schooled daughter, considering a career as a librarian, volunteered to work without pay at a large local library. After a week they thanked her and told her that her term of volunteering was over. Pretty clearly, their assumption was that she was volunteering because her high school required her to, or possibly to get something to claim on her college application, and it was now someone else’s turn. Wanting to volunteer to do useful things is evidence of desirable personality traits. Volunteering because someone requires you to or will reward you for it is not. She found a smaller local library that actually had a use for her services and worked there for a couple of years.
For a third example, consider my previous post and the long comment thread. It is a good thing if people in the SCA are interested in learning what people did in period and trying to figure out how best to do it. But too often, people in the SCA are convinced that being historically accurate is not something worth doing for itself but something you do because other people are pressuring you to do it or in the hope of getting rewards and status. The result is “documentation” that consists not of trying to figure out how something was actually done but of trying to find some excuse for claiming that whatever you want to do is period. Sort of.
In each case the mistake is the same, the attempt to create the effect without its proper cause. To fake it.