Seeing things from the other person's 'point of view' . . .

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conundrum
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04 Jul 2010, 12:06 am

DaWalker wrote:
An upper-class person can imagine being homeless true, but it's not the same as living that way for a while. There are many things about it that they could Only imagine (and many they prefer not to), and probably not handle any of them as well as someone who has actually done it.


Good point. The italicized part reminded me of something I studied recently: one of the "reasons" for stigmatization of certain groups is a lack of identification with these groups by the "majority." In other words, a member of the "majority" does not want to be seen as anything like a member of the stigmatized group, so he/she creates a huge "social distance" from "stigmatized" individuals. As a result, a "majority group" individual has made it impossible to imagine what it is like for a "stigmatized" individual because to do so would create a risk of becoming like them.

I discussed this concept in regards to discrimination against the mentally ill, but it can apply to any "minority" group.

Kind of off-topic, but just thought I'd mention it.


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NearlyaHuman
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04 Jul 2010, 1:23 am

I found this study very interesting:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 113108.htm

Quote:
"Previous research shows people are less likely to feel connected to people outside their own ethnic groups, and we wanted to know why," says Gutsell. "What we found is that there is a basic difference in the way peoples' brains react to those from other ethnic backgrounds. Observing someone of a different race produced significantly less motor-cortex activity than observing a person of one's own race. In other words, people were less likely to mentally simulate the actions of other-race than same-race people"
The trend was even more pronounced for participants who scored high on a test measuring subtle racism, says Gutsell.
"The so-called mirror-neuron-system is thought to be an important building block for empathy by allowing people to 'mirror' other people's actions and emotions; our research indicates that this basic building block is less reactive to people who belong to a different race than you," says Inzlicht.
However, the team says cognitive perspective taking exercises, for example, can increase empathy and understanding, thereby offering hope to reduce prejudice. Gutsell and Inzlicht are now investigating if this form of perspective-taking can have measurable effects in the brain.


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conundrum
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04 Jul 2010, 2:43 am

Thanks for sharing this! :D


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Poppycocteau
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04 Jul 2010, 3:15 pm

Quote:
Ever read about the "mirror neuron" theory of empathy? Take a look:

http://www.autismcoach.com/Mirror%20Neuron%20Theory.htm


Thankyou for that - it was really interesting. It seems to make a lot of sense, especially the part in which the author says that the only way to teach her autistic son things is to make him do them himself.


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Poppycocteau
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04 Jul 2010, 3:25 pm

Jaydee wrote:

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All of us do things for a reason, even though these reasons may be hard to see. We carry our history, our background, our childhoods, etc. with us, and they influence what we do and say, and how we perceive things. Seeing things from another person's point of view, is to take into account this fact and accept that a person's actions may be reasonable seen in light of their background. In the case of strangers, it entails letting a brief analysis of what might be the stranger's background and reasons run through your thought processes. What may be the reasons behind this behaviour, or behind these words? This analysis comes automatically when we are faced with behaviour we find difficult to understand; behaviour very different from our own takes more effort to analyse and understand. The funny thing is that this sounds like a lengthy process, but in cases of people who are good at seeing things from another person's point of view it is really done in the blink of an eye.


This is very true, I think . . . though in my case it is quite a lengthy process.


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pgd
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08 Dec 2010, 11:25 am

Seeing things from the other person's 'point of view' . . . What means is that if you are new car salesman and a customer wants a car with a silver color, sell the customer a car painted silver, not a car painted red.



Zur-Darkstar
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08 Dec 2010, 11:55 am

I didn't get this at all when I was young, mostly because I didn't get the concept of "point of view". Why should two people look at the same thing and see it differently. It is what it is, where I'm standing doesn't change it in any way. I eventually learned about psychology and how people's biases and prior experiences could affect their senses. I also learned that most people were heavily influenced by others around them without them being aware of this. I actually felt a bit sorry for them when I figured this out. "Those poor people, they're just doing stuff because everyone else is doing the same thing, they're like little sheep." As I've gotten older, I've taught myself to be open-minded, and remind myself that not everyone sees the world in the same way. We have different worldviews, different religions, different experiences, different genetics. It is really an intellectual exercise for me. I simply learn facts about a person, apply my knowledge of human behavior, and then their behavior makes more sense.