Higher order Theory of Mind (test yourself)

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How did you do on the Theory of Mind questions?
They were all confusing. 14%  14%  [ 14 ]
I could do the lower order questions, but I couldn't do the 4th order ones. 14%  14%  [ 14 ]
They were all doable. 72%  72%  [ 72 ]
Total votes : 100

Yensid
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03 Feb 2011, 6:17 pm

ToughDiamond wrote:
I still don't get Its extreme downtown is the battery, where that noble mole is washed by waves - "extreme downtown" finally made sense...I never saw those 2 words used like that before, I thought "downtown" was an adjective. I have no idea what he means by "battery" or "noble mole." :doh:


"Battery" can refer to a collection of large guns. "Noble mole" suggests that it is mole-like, i.e., underground. So he is saying that the business district ends at the ocean, where there is some very impressive artillery in a bunker by the sea. His description is a lot more interesting than my translation, which is really boring.

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Part of my problem is that I can't easily move onto the next sentence, unless I've understood the previous one. If I don't understand what I've read, how can I know whether it's possible to skip it without losing something important?


I find that you can generally read long, descriptive text without needing to fully understand all of the nuances. Most of the time, it's just there to set a mood. In any case, if you're confused later, you can always reread the earlier text.


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04 Feb 2011, 4:46 am

Yensid wrote:
"Battery" can refer to a collection of large guns. "Noble mole" suggests that it is mole-like, i.e., underground. So he is saying that the business district ends at the ocean, where there is some very impressive artillery in a bunker by the sea. His description is a lot more interesting than my translation, which is really boring.

Well, now that you've explained what he meant, I can see the entertainment-value of his obscure phrasing. Thanks for that. 8)

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I find that you can generally read long, descriptive text without needing to fully understand all of the nuances. Most of the time, it's just there to set a mood. In any case, if you're confused later, you can always reread the earlier text.

In principle, yes. In practice, it would be hard to get my brain to stop fretting over the missed bits, and to remember where they were. It would be nice if they highlighted the "unnecessary" descriptive stuff so that the confused reader could skip it with confidence.



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04 Feb 2011, 5:14 am

ToughDiamond wrote:
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I find that you can generally read long, descriptive text without needing to fully understand all of the nuances. Most of the time, it's just there to set a mood. In any case, if you're confused later, you can always reread the earlier text.

In principle, yes. In practice, it would be hard to get my brain to stop fretting over the missed bits, and to remember where they were. It would be nice if they highlighted the "unnecessary" descriptive stuff so that the confused reader could skip it with confidence.


Well, that's true, but what is unnecessary is a personal choice. You can just focus on the plot, if you want, and this is what many people do. At the other extreme, you can ignore the plot, and just focus on Melville's use of words, which can be quite poetic at times. You can focus on the detailed character development. It all depends on what interests you.


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04 Feb 2011, 7:47 am

Yensid wrote:
ToughDiamond wrote:
Quote:
I find that you can generally read long, descriptive text without needing to fully understand all of the nuances. Most of the time, it's just there to set a mood. In any case, if you're confused later, you can always reread the earlier text.

In principle, yes. In practice, it would be hard to get my brain to stop fretting over the missed bits, and to remember where they were. It would be nice if they highlighted the "unnecessary" descriptive stuff so that the confused reader could skip it with confidence.


Well, that's true, but what is unnecessary is a personal choice. You can just focus on the plot, if you want, and this is what many people do. At the other extreme, you can ignore the plot, and just focus on Melville's use of words, which can be quite poetic at times. You can focus on the detailed character development. It all depends on what interests you.

I guess I do tend to go about reading as if it were purely a test of plot-following ability. I'm better with films, where sometimes I know I'm lost but can still appreciate some of the scenes for their own sake. But there's always tension unless I've got the plot. Possibly comes from years of having AS without knowing, thinking that the comprehension problems were evidence of falling intelligence, and using every attempt at reading or watching as a desperate bid to show that my brain works properly. I'd love to just pick up a book and drink it in effortlessly, but that only seems to happen when I'm really calm, the subject fascinates me, and the material is clear. Those 3 things don't co-incide very often, and then there's the problems of name/face-recognition, intuitively divining emotions from expressions, etc. Curiously, I rarely had any trouble understanding the books I used to read to my son - of course the material was simpler, but I think the fact that I didn't have to understand it, helped me to understand it, because it took the heat off me.



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04 Feb 2011, 5:55 pm

ToughDiamond wrote:
I guess I do tend to go about reading as if it were purely a test of plot-following ability. I'm better with films, where sometimes I know I'm lost but can still appreciate some of the scenes for their own sake. But there's always tension unless I've got the plot. Possibly comes from years of having AS without knowing, thinking that the comprehension problems were evidence of falling intelligence, and using every attempt at reading or watching as a desperate bid to show that my brain works properly. I'd love to just pick up a book and drink it in effortlessly, but that only seems to happen when I'm really calm, the subject fascinates me, and the material is clear. Those 3 things don't co-incide very often, and then there's the problems of name/face-recognition, intuitively divining emotions from expressions, etc. Curiously, I rarely had any trouble understanding the books I used to read to my son - of course the material was simpler, but I think the fact that I didn't have to understand it, helped me to understand it, because it took the heat off me.


Melville is a bit challenging to read, because he likes describe things in great detail with grandiose language. He can take forever to get to the point of anything. Maybe you should choose authors who are a bit more direct and plot oriented?


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06 Feb 2011, 8:53 am

Yensid wrote:
Melville is a bit challenging to read, because he likes describe things in great detail with grandiose language. He can take forever to get to the point of anything. Maybe you should choose authors who are a bit more direct and plot oriented?

Yes that would probably help. Though it's hard to predict in advance, and once I pick up a book, it takes a colossal effort of will to abandon it, even if I feel like I'm swimming through treacle. It's like something inside refuses to accept that I'm not clever enough to follow it.

Recently it's been mostly films and TV shows I've been taking in. My attention wanders off just like it does when I try to meditate, and I have to keep re-winding until Mr.Brain finally condescends to lock onto the data.

I soaked up "The Enigma of Kasper Hauser" almost effortlessly, even though it's in German with subtitles. I guess the plot is pretty simple, just a straight chronological story of one guy's life and death. And Kasper seemed so similar to an Aspie, with his unique way of seeing things, social ineptitude, etc.......I thought it was brilliant.

I'm having moderate trouble with "Terminal Velocity" though with a bit of rewinding and pausing to get the plot clear in my head, I have high hopes of getting it. I noticed I got hung up on what could be flaws in the credibility - e.g. somebody dies, the hero is about to be busted for negligence - surely the authorities would immediately grab all the evidence? Yet this guy somehow has access to the dead lady's personal effects......when the plot seems to part from reality as I know it, that issue seems to take over my whole mind, and it's very difficult for me to just think "they do mess up like that sometimes" and move on with the rest of the story. I also got similarly distracted when the thing began with a short scene and then left it in the air and continued with stuff that seemed completely irrelevent.....the relevence came clear later, but in the meantime I felt very uneasy because I thought I'd have forgotten all about the first scene by the time the connection was made clear.

Hmmm.....has anybody tested any of these attention-defecit drugs like Adderol for an effect on their ability to follow books and films? Obviously they won't stop a poor theory of mind from making things difficult, but an improvement in focus would probably do me a lot of good. It's so frustrating to keep finding I've lost focus.



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06 Feb 2011, 9:05 am

ToughDiamond wrote:
Yensid wrote:
Melville is a bit challenging to read, because he likes describe things in great detail with grandiose language. He can take forever to get to the point of anything. Maybe you should choose authors who are a bit more direct and plot oriented?

Yes that would probably help. Though it's hard to predict in advance, and once I pick up a book, it takes a colossal effort of will to abandon it, even if I feel like I'm swimming through treacle. It's like something inside refuses to accept that I'm not clever enough to follow it.

Recently it's been mostly films and TV shows I've been taking in. My attention wanders off just like it does when I try to meditate, and I have to keep re-winding until Mr.Brain finally condescends to lock onto the data.

I soaked up "The Enigma of Kasper Hauser" almost effortlessly, even though it's in German with subtitles. I guess the plot is pretty simple, just a straight chronological story of one guy's life and death. And Kasper seemed so similar to an Aspie, with his unique way of seeing things, social ineptitude, etc.......I thought it was brilliant.

I'm having moderate trouble with "Terminal Velocity" though with a bit of rewinding and pausing to get the plot clear in my head, I have high hopes of getting it. I noticed I got hung up on what could be flaws in the credibility - e.g. somebody dies, the hero is about to be busted for negligence - surely the authorities would immediately grab all the evidence? Yet this guy somehow has access to the dead lady's personal effects......when the plot seems to part from reality as I know it, that issue seems to take over my whole mind, and it's very difficult for me to just think "they do mess up like that sometimes" and move on with the rest of the story. I also got similarly distracted when the thing began with a short scene and then left it in the air and continued with stuff that seemed completely irrelevent.....the relevence came clear later, but in the meantime I felt very uneasy because I thought I'd have forgotten all about the first scene by the time the connection was made clear.

Hmmm.....has anybody tested any of these attention-defecit drugs like Adderol for an effect on their ability to follow books and films? Obviously they won't stop a poor theory of mind from making things difficult, but an improvement in focus would probably do me a lot of good. It's so frustrating to keep finding I've lost focus.


I really liked The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser. The scene where he says " Mother, I am so far from everything." brought a tear to my eye because I really felt it. Of course he was forcibly isolated from most human contact from a very early age. I imagine the only contact he had was the person who came to feed him. I don't know that's there's enough information to speculate whether he was autistic.



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06 Feb 2011, 9:21 am

Aimless wrote:
I really liked The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser. The scene where he says " Mother, I am so far from everything." brought a tear to my eye because I really felt it. Of course he was forcibly isolated from most human contact from a very early age. I imagine the only contact he had was the person who came to feed him. I don't know that's there's enough information to speculate whether he was autistic.

Yes, his "social ineptitude" is easily explained by his having practically no contact with others for so long. It was just that the parallels with us are so marked. Like with his solution of the logic problem, seeing what others overlook, and getting nothing but flak for doing so.



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06 Feb 2011, 9:44 am

ToughDiamond wrote:
Aimless wrote:
I really liked The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser. The scene where he says " Mother, I am so far from everything." brought a tear to my eye because I really felt it. Of course he was forcibly isolated from most human contact from a very early age. I imagine the only contact he had was the person who came to feed him. I don't know that's there's enough information to speculate whether he was autistic.

Yes, his "social ineptitude" is easily explained by his having practically no contact with others for so long. It was just that the parallels with us are so marked. Like with his solution of the logic problem, seeing what others overlook, and getting nothing but flak for doing so.


I don't remember the logic problem. I'll have to see the movie again. It's probably been over 20 years since I've seen it. The whole story really got to me. I felt like I understood him on a very fundamental level.



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06 Feb 2011, 1:35 pm

ToughDiamond wrote:
I noticed I got hung up on what could be flaws in the credibility


I see what you are saying, I have a little of that, but not nearly as bad as you do. I get caught up a little, but then I can move on. Unfortunately, such flaws are common.


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06 Feb 2011, 3:44 pm

Yensid wrote:
ToughDiamond wrote:
I noticed I got hung up on what could be flaws in the credibility


I see what you are saying, I have a little of that, but not nearly as bad as you do. I get caught up a little, but then I can move on. Unfortunately, such flaws are common.


I have a huge problem with flaws in credibility. It often ruins it for me. :(


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06 Feb 2011, 8:08 pm

Morgana wrote:
I have a huge problem with flaws in credibility. It often ruins it for me. :(


Yeah, I wish that the writers would actually care about such things. Unfortunately, a lot of them just want to tell their story, and they figure that nobody cares anyway.


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06 Feb 2011, 9:04 pm

[quote="anbuend"]It's dishonest. Completely dishonest and I've been calling it dishonest for a long time.

It's already shown that the biggest reason that autistic children do badly on the basic ToM tests is language. They involve some of the hardest language constructions in the English language. Given a non-language ToM test, autistic children either do as well as, or even slightly outperform, nonautistic children. [/quote]

You may well be correct. Like you I found those tales as confusing as real life grandfather of fred's mother's second son who said..., glaze over, whatever, who cares. Or as I tend to say "don't bother". I suspect that memory comes into this.

A key is the conjunction of Autism and semantic/pragmatic which is still moving to be being recognised.

There again we might be misunderstanding what is being talked about. If NT comprehend automagically without consciously computing we have no ToM. Or perhaps between the two.



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07 Feb 2011, 5:41 am

Aimless wrote:
I don't remember the logic problem. I'll have to see the movie again. It's probably been over 20 years since I've seen it. The whole story really got to me. I felt like I understood him on a very fundamental level.

Here's the logic problem:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9uqPeIYMik
What bowled me over is that I thought of a similar answer to Kasper's, and instinctively disliked the professor's cumbersome double-negative trap.



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07 Feb 2011, 5:57 am

ToughDiamond wrote:
Aimless wrote:
I don't remember the logic problem. I'll have to see the movie again. It's probably been over 20 years since I've seen it. The whole story really got to me. I felt like I understood him on a very fundamental level.

Here's the logic problem:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9uqPeIYMik
What bowled me over is that I thought of a similar answer to Kasper's, and instinctively disliked the professor's cumbersome double-negative trap.


That was wonderful. I think I could have only come up with something like Kaspar did. I don't really consider myself illogical but deduction is very hard for me because all the variables slip away like slippery eels. BTW, did you know the actor who played Kaspar was in a mental institution for a long time? I wonder what his condition is (was) and whether he would be assessed differently now.



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07 Feb 2011, 10:56 am

Aimless wrote:
That was wonderful. I think I could have only come up with something like Kaspar did. I don't really consider myself illogical but deduction is very hard for me because all the variables slip away like slippery eels. BTW, did you know the actor who played Kaspar was in a mental institution for a long time? I wonder what his condition is (was) and whether he would be assessed differently now.

Unfortunately it's "was" rather than "is" :( :
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obitu ... 60053.html

I was quite shocked at how Aspie-like he seems to have been, though I guess his early life more than accounts for that.