Thanks for pointing out this support item.
While it did not resolve the problem, the two images do show the difference in "header row" configurations.
The "All My Files" is one of the windows where the plain/transparent header row is present, while the "name area," pravi in the example, is the kind of row that contains the little triangle that allows the order of the column to be reversed.
I called Apple Care to see if someone there knew the reason for this problem, and how to resolved it.
The solution is using the "arrange" button along the top of the Finder window. Though not intuitive, selecting "None" from the menu of options enables the header column options with the little arrow for selecting ascending and descending.
So, if you wish to arrange files in alphabetical order, select none, click on the arrow to the right of "name" to choose A->Z or Z->A. If you want to lock that it, go back to the "arrange" button, and click on "name."
If you're sorting on Date Modified, it works almost the same, though the "Today," "Previous 7 Days" and "Previous 30 Days" subheaders always show up on top, and then all the other files are shown in the order previously selected.
Sooo NOT intuitive. But changing to "none" and selecting a variety of sort options in the list at the bottom of "view sort options" gives me a nice variety of sort options in Finder. (Just as good as is was before the last few OSX "improvements". LOL
Thanks for this piece of information. Very helpful.
I have just fixed this situation by going to View->Show View Options and removing Always open in list view and Browse in list view. Then I removed Date Modified; viola, the sort was back to normal. I then re-added Date Modified.
This problem was only in my documents folder, hmmmmm.
Hope this helps someone else too.