Devo's Blog

Monday, January 4, 2010

Mind-reading: it's all in the lens

An interesting read over at Not Exactly Rocket Science, a study on how we view ourselves vs. others:
... our failure as mind-readers stems from an inability to look at ourselves and other people with the level of detail that they would use. Correcting this mismatch won't allow us to become true telepaths - it's not going to suddenly allow you to guess someone's favourite colours or political preferences. It should, however, help us to better understand how people see themselves or each other, especially for people who are very different, or those who are unfamiliar.

If you want to understand how others see you, put away the fine-grained details and take a "big picture" look at yourself. If you're worried that other people will judge you too harshly for a mistake, try to zoom away from the details of the blunder and look at the various bits of info that people take into account when thinking about you. Likewise, if you want to understand how others see themselves, shelve the generalities that you would use and start focusing in on the minutiae that they pay attention to.
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