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icyfire4w5
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30 Dec 2012, 11:28 pm

I know that one particular university's Psychology Society sells T-shirts featuring the line "Psychology: We don't read minds". It seems to me that no human is capable of reading minds, not even students majoring in Psychology. If so, then why are people on the autism spectrum described as "mind blind"? Is it true that "mind blind=unable to read minds"? Thanks.



Fnord
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30 Dec 2012, 11:32 pm

Being mind-blind seems to mean that someone has little or no Theory of Mind, which is the ability to attribute mental states -- beliefs, intents, desires, pretending, knowledge, etc. -- to oneself and others and to understand that others have beliefs, desires, and intentions that are different from one's own.

In other words, if you are mind-blind, then you do not recognize mental states in yourself and/or others.

It has nothing to do with telepathy, for which there is no valid empirical evidence.


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ianorlin
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30 Dec 2012, 11:37 pm

I am glad they don't read mind so they can't teach it to salesmen to perfectly price discriminate.



irishwhistle
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31 Dec 2012, 2:06 am

Are there really so many people here who, when asked directly, wouldn't recognize that other people have their different thoughts? Maybe you have to think about it consciously to realize it, but come on. You can't make it far in this world being this different without reaching the inescapable conclusion that the people around you are definitely working on a different internal program!


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whirlingmind
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31 Dec 2012, 7:10 am

Is it a combination of not realising every time that others have a different view, but also that even if/when you do realise it, you don't want to consider it (lacking empathy)?


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Fnord
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31 Dec 2012, 10:22 am

whirlingmind wrote:
Is it a combination of not realising every time that others have a different view, but also that even if/when you do realise it, you don't want to consider it (lacking empathy)?

That might be the case, as well.


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toliman
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31 Dec 2012, 10:48 am

icyfire4w5 wrote:
why are people on the autism spectrum described as "mind blind"? Is it true that "mind blind=unable to read minds"? Thanks.


Mind Blindness is a cute, illogical way of referring to the ToM (theory of mind) -- an expression of exasperation rather than optical coherence -- as in, the ability to "see" other people's thinking is blinded.

TOM and "mind blindness", is the idea that ASD people place an emphasis on self-perspective rather than consider an outside observer's perspective on a problem, or, someone else's perspective when in a conversation, that both parties in a conversation will have different ideas on what's happening in the conversation, and will react differently with different knowledge at times.

the example for ToM i read was, the idea of an opaque pencil case containing marbles, someone with ASD would know the answer, and assume others would also know the contents were marbles, whereas an NT perso, after seeing the marbles inside, would assume other people would guess the pencil case contained pencils.

ToM goes beyond perspectives, and into unshared thoughts, conclusions, emotions that are assumed by either NT to NT, ASD to NT, or ASD to ASD party, but it's a start.

It becomes an issue with social interaction, because one person comes in with different ideas and different expectations, and thoughts, and then the ASD person has to work out if they want to say something about it, want to get emotive feedback on an issue, want a logical answer, or just want to talk about themselves, etc.

i'd hazard to guess, it's a lack of instinctive clues to decipher emotion and meaning from someone asking...

"how's things"
or "hey"



emimeni
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31 Dec 2012, 5:32 pm

irishwhistle wrote:
Are there really so many people here who, when asked directly, wouldn't recognize that other people have their different thoughts? Maybe you have to think about it consciously to realize it, but come on. You can't make it far in this world being this different without reaching the inescapable conclusion that the people around you are definitely working on a different internal program!


I think it can take longer, sometimes, for autistic people to develop ToM. Sometimes, it can develop atypically, too. Like, they might, as an extreme and hypothetical example, "catch up" to their peers in a day or week.

Neither happened to me, for what it's worth.


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btbnnyr
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31 Dec 2012, 5:36 pm

I know that other people have minds, but I often forget to consider what other people's thoughts are during interactions. When I was little, I lacked ToM and didn't know that anyone had any mind or what my thoughts were or what anyone else's thoughts were.



emimeni
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31 Dec 2012, 5:41 pm

btbnnyr wrote:
I know that other people have minds, but I often forget to consider what other people's thoughts are during interactions. When I was little, I lacked ToM and didn't know that anyone had any mind or what my thoughts were or what anyone else's thoughts were.


See, that's an example of what I was talking about.


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Nonperson
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31 Dec 2012, 6:01 pm

btbnnyr wrote:
I know that other people have minds, but I often forget to consider what other people's thoughts are during interactions. When I was little, I lacked ToM and didn't know that anyone had any mind or what my thoughts were or what anyone else's thoughts were.


The first sentence describes how it is for me, especially if I'm dealing with more than one person at once. I can't remember a time when I really didn't know they had minds, though I do remember, when I was really young, being confused as to what other people could and couldn't know (thinking they could read my mind, for instance).



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01 Jan 2013, 9:42 am

irishwhistle wrote:
Are there really so many people here who, when asked directly, wouldn't recognize that other people have their different thoughts? Maybe you have to think about it consciously to realize it, but come on. You can't make it far in this world being this different without reaching the inescapable conclusion that the people around you are definitely working on a different internal program!


With some, I doubt they could think for themselves AT ALL! of course, that isn't true for the human race as a whole.



ianorlin
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01 Jan 2013, 11:38 am

I actually know there thoughts are different but don't have any clue what they are thinking.



emimeni
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01 Jan 2013, 11:53 am

ianorlin wrote:
I actually know there thoughts are different but don't have any clue what they are thinking.


Of course, you don't know what they're thinking. You can't read minds.


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